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A  National  Society  of  men  and  women  for  the  protection 
of  natural  scenery,  the  preservation  of  historic  landmarks,  the 
improvement  of  cities,  etc.,  throughout  the  United  States. 
Co-operates  with  cognate  institutions  abroad.  Incorporated 
in  1895  by  special  act  of  New  York  Legislature.  Holds  property 
in  fee  and  in  trust.  Custodian  of  six  New  York  State  reserva- 
tions, including  Letchworth  Park  in  which  Mary  Jemison  is 
buried.  Has  caused  the  creation  of  many  other  public  parks 
and  the  erection  of  many  monuments.  Its  members  have 
given  over  $3,500,000  for  such  purposes.  List  of  officers,  1918: 

Late  Honorary  President 
J.  PIERPONT  MORGAN,  LL.D.,  deceased 

Honorary  President 


Vice  Presidents 


Treasurer  Secretary 











Letchworth  Park  post-office  address:   Castile,  N.   Y. 

At  Letchworth  Park,  New  York. 

J  ivNarrative  of , 

THE    LIFE    OF 


The  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee 



Revised  by 

Emeritus  Professor  of  English  Literature 
at  Hobart  College 


Presenting  the  First  Edition  literally  restored, 
Together  with  chapters  added  to  later  editions  by  Ebenezer  M 
Lewis  Henry  Morgan,  LL.D.,  William  Clement  Bryant 
and     William     Pryor    Letchworth,     LL.D. 
Enlarged  with  historical  and  archaeo- 
logical  memoranda    and   critical 
notes  by  modern  authorities 


New  York 

The  American  Scenic  &  Historic  Preservation  Society 

t,  1918,  by 



Printed  by  Harper  &  Brothers,  in  the  United  States  of  America 

Published  August  15,  1918 

To  the  Memory  of 


who  gave  sanctuary  in  what  is  now 

Letchworth  Park 

to  the  dust  of  the  remarkable  woman 

whose  life  forms  the  subject  of  these  pages, 

the  labors  bestowed  upon  this  edition 

are  dedicated  by 

Published  by  the  Fund 
given  by 


in  loving  remembrance  of 

a  long  and  beautiful  friendship  with 

the  Letchworth  Family 


THE  Life  of  Mary  Jemison,  the  White  Woman  of 
the  Genesee,  is,  in  all  its  details,  a  wondrous  story 
of  one  of  the  most  remarkable  captivities  suffered 
at  the  hands  of  the  Indians  by  the  early  settlers  of 
this  country.  Told  by  herself  with  extraordinary 
clearness  of  memory  at  the  age  of  80  years  to  James 
Everett  Seaver,  M.  D.,1  it  was  first  published  at 
Canandaigua,  N.  Y.,  in  1824;  and  now,  ninety-four 
years  later,  after  no  less  than  nineteen  editions  in  this 
country  and  England,  the  popularity  of  the  work  is  so 
persistent  that  this  Twentieth  Edition  has  become 

For  details  of  the  bibliography  of  this  classic  in  the 
Indian  history  of  Western  New  York,  the  reader  is 
referred  to  the  chapter  on  that  subject  on  pages  274- 
293  following;  but  for  a  proper  comprehension  of  the 
story  as  a  whole  a  few  general  observations  may  here 
be  made. 

In  the  course  of  the  preceding  nineteen  editions, 
the  book  has  received  the  impress  notably  of  four 
men,  each  in  turn  as  editor,  namely,  James  Everett 
Seaver,  M.D.,  Ebenezer  Mix,  Lewis  Henry  Mor- 
gan, LL.D.,  and  William  Pryor  Letchworth,  LL.D. 

Dr.  Seaver,  in  his  original  narrative,  brings  out  with 
vividness  the  personality  of  the  White  Woman.  Her 
story  is  full  of  pathos  and  tragedy,  and  still  thrills  the 
reader  going  over  its  pages  for  the  first  time;  but 


above  the  pathos  and  tragedy,  the  thoughtful  person 
cannot  fail  to  be  impressed  with  the  uniformity  of 
elevated  character  of  Mary  Jemison  herself.  She  en- 
dured hardship  and  suffering  with  astounding  forti- 
tude. Amidst  the  hardening  surroundings  of  bar- 
baric life,  she  preserved  the  sensibilities  of  a  white 
woman.  Her  natural  tender  emotions  were  never  ex- 
tinguished; the  atrocities  of  the  uncivilized  people 
among  whom  it  was  her  destiny  to  live  always  shocked 
her.  She  cherished  a  lively  sympathy  for  the  suf- 
ferings of  others,  and  never  failed  to  minister  to  the 
needy  and  unfortunate  according  to  her  resources; 
and  a  new  name,  "The  Friend  of  the  Distressed/* 
was  given  to  her  by  common  consent.  Mary  Jemison 
never  failed  to  stand  up  for  those  whom  she  felt  she 
should  befriend,  and  apparently  was  absolutely  devoid 
of  fear  of  criticism  of  whatever  she  did,  living,  as 
she  believed,  by  the  rule  of  conscience.  Although  she 
dwelt  in  the  midst  of  a  savage  people  who  had  social 
customs  and  practices  alien  to  her  own,  yet  by  the 
force  of  her  personality  she  commanded  the  respect 
of  her  brethren-by-adoption  and  maintained  the 
standard  of  private  character  becoming  her  origin. 
The  memory  of  her  mother's  prayers  and  teachings, 
recalled  in  her  last  days,  as  touchingly  related  by 
Mrs.  Asher  Wright,  reveals  one  of  the  influences 
which,  sub-consciously  perhaps,  lay  back  of  these 
manifestations  of  Mary  Jemison's  heroic  character. 
It  is  doubtful  if  any  English  work  presents  a  passage 
of  greater  dramatic  elevation  and  pathos  than  is 
shown  when  Mary  Jemison  recovers  her  memory  of  the 
prayer  taught  her  in  her  childhood  by  her  mother  and 
so  many  years  mourned  by  her  in  the  night  watches 
as  lost. 


When,  in  1842,  William  Seaver  &  Son,  brother  and 
nephew  of  James  Everett  Seaver,  the  author,  repub- 
lished  the  work  in  Batavia,  N.  Y.,  they  brought 
Ebenezer  Mix  2  to  their  aid  in  the  revision.  Mr. 
Mix's  special  impress  on  the  book  is  geographical. 
Mr.  Mix  was  one  of  the  most  familiar  figures  in  the 
early  affairs  of  the  Genesee  Valley  and  the  Holland 
Purchase  Company.  It  was  a  current  saying  in  the 
Genesee  country  that  Mr.  Mix  knew  more  about  the 
lands  and  holdings  of  each  pioneer  than  the  pioneer 
himself  knew,  and  that  his  word  about  any  given 
transaction  could  be  accepted  practically  without 
dispute.  Thus  it  happened  that  when  William 
Seaver  &  Son  engaged  Mr.  Mix's  service,  and,  avail- 
ing themselves  of  the  privilege  of  family  relationship 
to  the  deceased  author,  consented  to  various  altera- 
tions,— or,  as  it  was  the  fashion  then  to  say,  "im- 
provements,"— in  the  text,  the  alterations  tended  to 
give  very  marked  prominence  to  the  history  and 
geography  of  the  Genesee  country. 

Lewis  Henry  Morgan,3  the  learned  author  of  "The 
League  of  the  Iroquois,"  who  was  brought  into 
collaboration  by  D.  M.  Dewey  in  the  publication  of 
the  1856  edition  at  Rochester,  N.  Y.,  imparted  another 
characteristic  to  the  book.  His  training  and  view- 
point were  those  of  the  student  of  Indian  life,  customs 
and  language,  and  the  profusion  of  notes  which 
Dr.  Morgan  introduced  and  the  chapter  on  Indian 
place-names  in  the  Iroquois  country  which  he  added, 
concentrate  attention  on  linguistic  and  philological 

In  1877  William  Pryor  Letchworth  4  again  touched 
the  keynote  which  Dr.  Seaver  had  sounded  at  the 
beginning.  About  the  time  when  Dr.  Letchworth 


conspicuously  manifested  his  interest  in  the  subject 
of  these  pages  by  causing  Mary  Jemison's  remains  to 
be  transferred  from  Buffalo  to  what  is  now  Letchworth 
Park,  he  acquired  the  publication  rights  in  Mary 
Jemison's  Life.  His  long  work  as  a  philanthropist 
made  him  keenly  responsive  to  human  suffering  and 
deeply  appreciative  of  noble  personal  character; 
and,  as  might  have  been  expected,  the  valuable  addi- 
tions which  appeared  in  the  edition  first  published 
by  him  in  1877  emphasize  again  the  human  charac- 
teristics of  Mary  Jemison  which  were  illustrated  in 
Dr.  Seaver's  original  narrative.  To  this  dominating 
and  continuing  ideal,  Dr.  Letchworth  gave  a  noble 
summation  in  the  bronze  statue  of  the  White  Woman 
of  the  Genesee  which  he  erected  over  her  grave  in  the 
last  year  of  his  life. 

In  searching  for  the  cause  of  the  enduring  vitality 
and  popularity  of  this  book,  the  reader  will  find  that 
its  appeal  to  his  judgment  is  threefold — human,  his- 
torical and  literary. 

The  first,  however,  is  the  real  secret  of  the  book. 
The  book  lives  primarily  because  of  its  portrayal  of 
the  affecting  life  and  wonderful  character  of  Mary 
Jemison.  And  it  should  be  noted  that  the  First 
Edition,  laying  emphasis  on  her  personality,  estab- 
lished for  the  book  itself  a  claim  to  a  place  in  our 
English  literature  as  having  enriched  its  permanent 
stock  of  great  stories,  of  stories  revealing  some  of  the 
finest  traits  possible  in  our  human  nature. 

Of  its  historical  value,  it  may  be  said  that  the  book 
portrays  with  the  realism  of  personal  narrative  the 
dramatic  details  of  an  important  period  in  the 
progress  of  civilization.  When  we  read  the  history 
of  the  Old  World  we  have  presented  to  us  the  larger 


features  of  the  great  migrations  of  races  and  the 
contact  between  the  more  and  the  less  civilized;  but 
those  epoch-marking  events  are  so  remote  that  the 
details — the  little  things  which  would  give  the  human 
touch  and  make  the  scenes  live  with  human  life — are 
lacking;  the  impressions  which  one  receives  from 
them  are  impersonal;  the  scenes  are  dead,  like  fossils 
in  the  rocks.  In  the  coming  together  of  the  white 
and  red  races  in  the  New  World,  however,  we  have 
reproduced  under  our  own  eyes,  as  it  were,  an  event 
as  epoch-marking  as  any  of  the  ancient  migrations; 
but,  unlike  the  ancient  histories,  the  Life  of  Mary 
Jemison  gives  those  intimately  personal  details 
which  impart  to  the  history  of  her  period  a  living 

The  book  also  has  a  value  as  indicating  something 
of  the  state  of  American  literature  in  the  early 
part  of  the  nineteenth  century.  The  exceeding 
scarcity  of  the  First  Edition,  of  which  only  sixteen 
copies  are  known  to  be  in  existence,  is  itself  significant 
of  the  time  at  which  it  appeared.  It  is  said  that  its 
rarity  has  been  brought  about  in  Western  New  York 
and  the  Genesee  Valley,  its  natural  home  and  market, 
because  of  the  vogue  which  the  story  achieved  when 
it  was  in  its  first  bloom,  and  when  the  generation  who 
were  to  be  its  patrons  and  readers  did  not  find  the 
book-stalls  offering  stories  of  Indian  captivities  which, 
in  charm  and  fascination,  were  in  any  sense  rivals  to 
Mary  Jemison's  revelations  of  the  life  which  she  led 
in  the  lands  of  the  Ohio  and  the  Genesee.  As  a  con- 
sequence, the  readers  of  the  period  literally  wore 
out  the  copies  of  the  little  i6mo  which  were  fre- 
quently carried  in  the  pocket,  and  more  frequently 
passed  from  hand  to  hand,  so  that  only  a  few 


have  survived  the  intensive  use  to  which  they  were 

In  addition  to  this  evidence  of  the  contemporary 
place  which  the  book  occupied  in  American  literature, 
we  find  in  the  original  edition  evidence  of  an  interest- 
ing period  in  American  linguistics.  Dr.  Seaver,  in 
his  Preface,  dwells  on  the  care  he  has  used  in  writing 
the  narrative,  "as  books  of  this  kind  are  sought  and 
read  with  avidity,  especially  by  children,  and  are 
well  calculated  to  ...  improve  them  in  the  art  of 
reading."  We  may  infer,  therefore,  both  from  this 
statement  and  from  Dr.  Seaver's  evident  culture,  that 
when  he  transcribes  into  his  own  words  such  expres- 
sions as  "you  was  deaf  to  my  cries,"  "when  those 
rebels  had  drove  us  from  the  fields  of  our  fathers," 
"he  ...  run  for  his  life,"  etc.,  his  grammatical  forms 
were  not  the  result  of  ignorance  but  were  based  on 
actual  if  not  persistent  personal  usage.5 

This  Twentieth  Edition  has  been  revised  with  a 
view  to  giving  the  reader  the  benefits  of  all  the 
qualities  of  the  First  Edition  together  with  the  addi- 
tions made  to  later  editions  and  certain  new  matter 
which  has  been  the  result  of  modern  research. 

Part  I  of  the  present  edition,  therefore,  presents  the 
First  Edition  separated  from  all  accretions  and  in 
its  original  purity.  The  text  is  printed  word  for 
word,  line  for  line  and  page  for  page,  including  the 
author's  original  notes,  literally  as  in  the  First  Edi- 
tion, the  only  differences  being,  first,  that  a  larger 
size  of  type  has  been  used,  making  the  size  of  the 
page  correspondingly  larger;  and  second,  that 
superior  figures  have  been  inserted  referring  to  the 
notes  in  Part  III.  In  this  process  the  grammatical 
forms  and  the  spelling  of  words  which  Mr.  Mix 


"improved"  in  the  edition  of  1842  have  necessarily 
been  restored  to  the  forms  in  which  they  appeared  in 
the  First  Edition. 

In  Part  II  have  been  placed  the  chapters  and  ap- 
pendices, wonderfully  interesting  and  dramatic,  which 
were  added  by  others  to  Dr.  Seaver's  original  nar- 
rative, with  an  addition  to  Chapter  IV  by  Dr.  Edward 
Hagaman  Hall  concerning  the  place  of  Mary  Jemison's 
capture;  an  addition  by  the  Reviser  to  Chapter  V 
concerning  the  Mary  Jemison  statue;  a  new  Chapter 
VI  by  the  late  William  H.  Samson  concerning  Mary 
Jemison's  will;  and  a  new  Chapter  IX  by  the  Reviser 
on  the  bibliography  of  this  work.  The  foot-notes 
appended  to  the  chapters  in  Part  II  which  have 
appeared  in  former  editions  have  been  placed  in 
Part  III,  with  due  credit  in  each  case.  Superior 
figures  have  been  inserted  in  the  text  referring  not 
only  to  the  notes  which  originally  accompanied  these 
chapters,  but  also  to  new  notes  by  the  Reviser  of  the 
present  edition. 

Part  III,  as  already  indicated,  includes  the  notes 
by  the  author  of  the  chapters  in  Part  II  and  also 
notes  by  the  Reviser  which  are  the  result  of  modern 
research  and  are  frequently  based  on  documentary 
evidence  not  available  to  early  writers,  including 
memoranda  contributed  by  valued  correspondents 
therein  mentioned. 

The  First  Edition  contained  no  illustrations.  For 
the  present  edition  a  few  selections  have  been  made 
from  various  editions  which  followed  the  First,  and 
new  illustrations  have  been  added. 

The  Reviser  acknowledges  his  indebtedness  to  the 
Rt.  Rev.  Cameron  Mann,  D.D.,  Bishop  of  Southern 
Florida;  the  Rev.  William  Martin  Beauchamp,  S.T.D., 


of  Syracuse,  N.  Y.,  author  of  "Aboriginal  Place 
Names  of  New  York,"  etc.;  Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker  of 
Albany,  N.  Y.,  New  York  State  Archaeologist; 
Mr.  Elmer  Adler  of  Rochester,  N.  Y.,  biliophile 
and  collector  of  data  concerning  Mary  Jemison;  the 
late  William  Holland  Samson  of  Rochester,  for  many 
years  editor  of  the  Rochester  Post-Express;  Mr. 
Frank  H.  Severance  of  Buffalo,  N.  Y.,  Secretary  of 
the  Buffalo  Historical  Society;  Miss  Caroline  Bishop, 
for  many  years  Dr.  Letchworth's  Secretary  and  now 
Librarian  of  Letchworth  Park;  Hon.  Truman  L. 
Stone  of  Sonyea,  N.  Y.,  Superintendent  of  the  Craig 
Colony  for  Epileptics;  Mr.  Robert  H.  Kelby  of  New 
York,  Librarian  of  the  New  York  Historical  Society; 
Rev.  George  P.  Donehoo,  D.D.,  of  Coudersport, 
Penn.,  Secretary  of  the  Pennsylvania  Historical 
Commission;  John  Woolf  Jordan,  LL.D.,  of  Phila- 
delphia, Penn.,  Librarian  of  the  Pennsylvania  His- 
torical Society;  the  Rev.  W.  K.  Zieber,  D.D.,  of 
Hanover,  Penn.,  author  of  papers  published  in  the 
Gettysburg  Compiler;  Mr.  C.  B.  Galbraith  of  Colum- 
bus, O.,  State  Librarian  of  Ohio,  and  Miss  Alice 
Boardman,  Assistant  State  Librarian;  Mr.  William 
Smith  of  Ottawa,  Keeper  of  Manuscripts  in  the 
Department  of  Public  Archives  of  the  Dominion 
of  Canada;  and  others  mentioned  in  Part  III  for 
their  helpful  co-operation  in  the  preparation  of  this 
edition,  and  particularly  to  Edward  Hagaman  Hall, 
L.H.D.,  of  New  York,  Secretary  of  the  American 
Scenic  and  Historic  Preservation  Society,  for  his 
invaluable  assistance  in  editing  these  pages. 


Walnut  Hilly  Geneva,  N.   Y.,  July  i,  1918. 






L.H.D g 




M.D i 









NEZER  Mix 193 




BY  WILLIAM  CLEMENT  BRYANT  .    .     198 






MATER  VAIL,  L.H.D 228 




EBENEZER  Mix 251 


LEWIS  HENRY  MORGAN,  LL.D.      .     264 


MATER  VAIL,  L.H.D 274 


L.H.D 295 

INDEX 437 


(The  illustrations  marked  with  an  asterisk  *  are  printed  with  the 
text.  The  others  are  separate  plates  inserted  opposite  the 
pages  indicated.) 



From  photograph  taken  in  1911 Frontispiece 


LIFE  OF  MARY  JEMISON,"  1824 i 


LIFE  OF  MARY  JEMISON,"  1827 16 


OF  MARY  JEMISON'S  FIRST  HOME.  From  photograph 
taken  in  June,  1918 48 


PIKE.     From  photograph  taken  in  June,  1918     ...      64 

APRIL  5,  1758.  Fac-simile  of  engraving  in  the  fifth 
edition  of  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison,"  1840.  (Folded.)  80 

ADAMS  COUNTY,  PENN.  From  photograph  taken  in 
June,  1918  96 

graph taken  in  June,  1918 112 



From  original  copy  owned  by  the  Pennsylvania  Historical 
Society 128 

drawing  by  Edward  Hagaman  Hall,  L.H.D.,  made  in 
June,  1918 144 

From  original  owned  by  Rev.  George  P.  Donehoo,  D.D., 
of  Coudersport,  Penn.  (Folded.)  160 

SENECA  INDIAN  MAIDEN.  From  water-color  by  Miss 
Mildred  Green,  of  Buffalo,  N.  Y 176 

*  AH-TA-QUA-O-WEH,    OR    MOCCASIN    FOR    FEMALE.    After 

figure  in  Morgan's  "League  of  the  Iroquois"     .     .     .     192 

*  BARK  CANOE.    After  figure  in  Morgan's  "League  of  the 

Iroquois" 197 

Fac-simile  of  woodcut  in  fifth  edition  of  "The  Life  of 
Mary  Jemison,"  1840 208 


figure  in  Morgan's  "League  of  the  Iroquois"     .     .     .     212 

in  Morgan's  "League  of  the  Iroquois" 224 

*  GA-WEH'-GA",  OR  SNOW-SHOE.    After  figure  in  Morgan's 

"League  of  the  Iroquois" 227 

TO  THE  GENESEE.  After  figure  in  Morgan's  "League 
of  the  Iroquois" 232 



photograph  taken  in  June,  1911 240 


LETCHWORTH  PARK.     From  1877  edition  of  "The  Life 

of  Mary  Jemison" 242 

*  GA-GEH-TA,  OR  BELT.    After  figure  in  Morgan's  "League  of 

the    Iroquois" 250 


From  photograph  taken  in  July,  1918 256 

*  EAR-RING.     After    figure    in    Morgan's    "League    of   the 

Iroquois" 263 


From  photograph  taken  in  July,  1918 272 

LIVED.  From  photograph  taken  in  July,  1918  .  .  280 
SON'S HOME.  From  photograph  taken  in  July,  1918  .  288 

*  GA-NO-SOTE,  OR  BARK  HOUSE.    After  figure  in  Morgan's 

"League  of  the  Iroquois" 294 

*  O-SQUE-SONT,  OR  TOMAHAWK.    After  figure  in  Morgan's 

"  League  of  the  Iroquois  " 296 


From  photograph  taken  in  May,  1914 304 

water-color  owned  by  Frank  L.  Reuss,  of  Albany,  N.  Y. 
By  James  McKenna,  from  studies  of  various  originals, 
some  of  which  were  destroyed  in  the  Capitol  fire  in  1911  312 



COUNCIL.  From  original  portrait  owned  by  the  Buffalo 
Historical  Society 320 

"THE  LIFE  OF  MARY  JEMISON"  IN  1823-24.  From  an 
engraving  in  the  1856  edition 336 

COUNT OF  MARY  JEMISON'S  LAST  DAYS,  IN  1833  .  .  .  352 

INDIAN  COUNCIL  ON  THE  GENESEE  IN  1872  ....  368 



photograph  taken  on  that  day 416 


photograph  taken  in  August,  1906 432 

*  GA-NUH'-SA,  OR  SEA-SHELL  MEDAL.  After  figure  in 

Morgan's  "League  of  the  Iroquois" 435 





a as  in  arm. 

& as  in  at. 

a as  in  ale. 

£ as  in  met. 

6 as  in  tone. 



Who  was  taken  by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755, 

when  only  about  twelve  years  of  age,  and 

has  continued  to  reside  amongst 

them  to  the  present  time. 


An  Account  of  the  Murder  of  her  Father  and  hii 
Family;  her  sufferings ;  her  marriage  to  two  Indians; 
her  troubles  with  her  Children;  barbarities  of  the 
Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolutionary  Wars;  the 
life  of  her  last  Husband,  Sec.;  and  many  Historical 
Facts  never  before  published. 

Carefully  taken  from  her  own  words,  A^ov.  29th,  1 8£3, 


An  APPENDIX,  containing  an  account  of  the  tragedy 
at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763,  and  of  Sullivan's  Ex- 
pedition; the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs,  fee.  of 
the  Indians,  as  believed  and  practised  at  the  present 
day,  and  since  Mrs.  Jemison's  captivity;  together 
with  some  Anecdotes,  and  other  entertaining  matter. 





(Actual  size) 




Who  was  taken  by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755, 

when  only  about  twelve  years  of  age,  and 

has  continued  to  reside  amongst 

them  to  the  present  time. 


An  Account  of  the  Murder  of  her  Father  and  his 
Family;  her  sufferings;  her  marriage  to  two  Indians; 
her  troubles  with  her  Children;  barbarities  of  the 
Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolutionary  Wars;  the 
life  of  her  last  Husband,  &c.;  and  many  Historical 
Facts  never  before  published. 

Carefully  taken  from   her  own   words,  Nov.  29th,  1823. 


An  APPENDIX,  containing  an  account  of  the  tragedy 
at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763,  and  of  Sullivan's  Ex- 
pedition; the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs,  &c.  of 
the  Indians,  as  believed  and  practised  at  the  present 
day,  and  since  Mrs.  Jemison's  captivity;  together 
with  some  Anecdotes,  and  other  entertaining  matter. 




Northern  District  of  New-York)  to  wit: 

BE  IT  REMEMBERED,  That  on  the  eighth  day  of 
May,  in  the  forty-eighth  year  of  the  Independence  of  the 

United  States  of  America,  A.  D.   1824,  JAMES  D. 

BEMIS,  of  the  said   District,  has  deposited  in  this 
(L.S.)  Office  the  title  of  a  Book  the  right  whereof  he  claims 

as  Proprietor,  in  the  words  following,  to  wit: 

"A  Narrative  of  the  Life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison, 
who  was  taken  by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755,  when  only 
about  twelve  years  of  age,  and  has  continued  to  reside 
amongst  them  to  the  present  time;  containing  an  account 
of  the  Murder  of  her  Father  and  his  Family;  her  Suffer- 
ings; her  Marriage  to  two  Indians;  her  Troubles  with  her 
Children;  barbarities  of  the  Indians  in  the  French  and  Re- 
volutionary Wars;  the  Life  of  her  last  Husband,  &c.  and 
many  Historical  Facts  never  before  published.  Carefully 
taken  from  her  own  words,  Nov.  29th,  1823.  To  which  is 
added  an  Appendix,  containing  an  account  of  the  Tragedy 
at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763,  and  of  Sullivan's  Expedition; 
the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs,  &c.  of  the  Indians,  as 
believed  and  practised  at  the  present  day,  and  since  Mrs. 
Jemison's  captivity;  together  with  some  anecdotes,  and 
other  entertaining  matter.  By  James  E.  Seaver." 

In  conformity  to  the  act  of  the  Congress  of  the  United 
States,  entitled  "An  act  for  the  encouragement  of  learning, 
by  securing  the  copies  of  Maps,  Charts,  and  Books,  to  the 
authors  and  proprietors  of  such  copies,  during  the  times 
therein  mentioned;"  and  also,  to  the  act  entitled,  "An  act 
supplementary  to  an  act  entitled  'An  act  for  the  encourage- 
ment of  learning,  by  securing  the  copies  of  Maps,  Charts, 
and  Books,  to  the  authors  and  proprietors  of  such  copies, 
during  the  times  therein  mentioned,'  and  extending  the  ben- 
efits thereof  to  the  arts  of  Designing,  Engraving  and  Etch- 
ing historical  and  other  prints." 

R.  R.  LANSING,  Clerk  of  the 

Northern  District  of  New-York. 


THAT  to  biographical  writings  we  are  indebted  for 
the  greatest  and  best  field  in  which  to  study  mankind, 
or  human  nature,  is  a  fact  duly  appreciated  by  a  well- 
informed  community.  In  them  we  can  trace  the  ef- 
fects of  mental  operations  to  their  proper  sources;  and 
by  comparing  our  own  composition  with  that  of  those 
who  have  excelled  in  virtue,  or  with  that  of  those  who 
have  been  sunk  in  the  lowest  depths  of  folly  and  vice, 
we  are  enabled  to  select  a  plan  of  life  that  will  at  least 
afford  self-satisfaction,  and  guide  us  through  the  world 
in  paths  of  morality. 

Without  a  knowledge  of  the  lives  of  the  vile  and 
abandoned,  we  should  be  wholly  incompetent  to  set 
an  appropriate  value  upon  the  charms,  the  excellence 
and  the  worth  of  those  principles  which  have  produced 
the  finest  traits  in  the  character  of  the  most  virtuous. 

Biography  is  a  telescope  of  life,  through  which  we 
can  see  the  extremes  and  excesses  of  the  varied  proper- 
ties of  the  human  heart.  Wisdom  and  folly,  refine- 
ment and  vulgarity,  love  and  hatred,  tenderness  and 
cruelty,  happiness  and  misery,  piety  and  infidelity,  com- 
mingled with  every  other  cardinal  virtue  or  vice,  are  to 
be  seen  on  the  variegated  pages  of  the  history  of  hu- 
man events,  and  are  eminently  deserving  the  attention 
of  those  who  would  learn  to  walk  in  the  "paths  of 

The  brazen  statue  and  the  sculptured  marble,  can 
commemorate  the  greatness  of  heroes,  statesmen,  phi- 
losophers, and  blood-stained  conquerors,  who  have  risen 
to  the  zenith  of  human  glory  and  popularity,  under 
the  influence  of  the  mild  sun  of  prosperity:  but  it  is 


the  faithful  page  of  biography  that  transmits  to  future 
generations  the  poverty,  pain,  wrong,  hunger,  wretch- 
edness and  torment,  and  every  nameless  misery  that 
has  been  endured  by  those  who  have  lived  in  obscurity, 
and  groped  their  lonely  way  through  a  long  series  of 
unpropitious  events,  with  but  little  help  besides  the 
light  of  nature.  While  the  gilded  monument  displays 
in  brightest  colors  the  vanity  of  pomp,  and  the  empti- 
ness of  nominal  greatness,  the  biographical  page,  that 
lives  in  every  line,  is  giving  lessons  of  fortitude  in  time 
of  danger,  patience  in  suffering,  hope  in  distress,  in- 
vention in  necessity,  and  resignation  to  unavoidable 
evils.  Here  also  may  be  learned,  pity  for  the  bereaved, 
benevolence  for  the  destitute,  and  compassion  for  the 
helpless;  and  at  the  same  time  all  the  sympathies  of 
the  soul  will  be  naturally  excited  to  sigh  at  the  unfa- 
vorable result,  or  to  smile  at  the  fortunate  relief. 

In  the  great  inexplicable  chain  which  forms  the  cir- 
cle of  human  events,  each  individual  link  is  placed  on 
a  level  with  the  others,  and  performs  an  equal  task; 
but,  as  the  world  is  partial,  it  is  the  situation  that  at- 
tracts the  attention  of  mankind,  and  excites  the  unfor- 
tunate vociferous  eclat  of  elevation,  that  raises  the 
pampered  parasite  to  such  an  immense  height  in  the 
scale  of  personal  vanity,  as,  generally,  to  deprive  him 
of  respect,  before  he  can  return  to  a  state  of  equilibrium 
with  his  fellows,  or  to  the  place  whence  he  started. 

Few  great  men  have  passed  from  the  stage  of  action, 
who  have  not  left  in  the  history  of  their  lives  indelible 
marks  of  ambition  or  folly,  which  produced  insur- 
mountable reverses,  and  rendered  the  whole  a  mere 
caricature,  that  can  be  examined  only  with  disgust  and 
regret.  Such  pictures,  however,  are  profitable,  for  "by 
others'  faults  wise  men  correct  their  own." 

The  following  is  a  piece  of  biography,  that  shows 
what  changes  may  be  effected  in  the  animal  and  mental 
constitution  of  man;  what  trials  may  be  surmounted; 
what  cruelties  perpetrated,  and  what  pain  endured, 


when  stern  necessity  holds  the  reins,  and  drives  the  car 
of  fate. 

As  books  of  tnis  kind  are  sought  and  read  with  avid- 
ity, especially  by  children,  and  are  well  calculated 
to  excite  their  attention,  inform  their  understanding, 
and  improve  them  in  the  art  of  reading,  the  greatest 
care  has  been  observed  to  render  the  style  easy,  the 
language  comprehensive,  and  the  description  natural. 
Prolixity  has  been  studiously  avoided.  The  line  of 
distinction  between  virtue  and  vice  has  been  rendered 
distinctly  visible;  and  chastity  of  expression  and  sen- 
timent have  received  due  attention.  Strict  fidelity  has 
been  observed  in  the  composition:  consequently,  no 
circumstance  has  been  intentionally  exaggerated  by 
the  paintings  of  fancy,  nor  by  fine  flashes  of  rhetoric: 
neither  has  the  picture  been  rendered  more  dull  than 
the  original.  Without  the  aid  of  fiction,  what  was  re- 
ceived as  matter  of  fact,  only  has  been  recorded. 

It  will  be  observed  that  the  subject  of  this  narrative 
has  arrived  at  least  to  the  advanced  age  of  eighty  years; 
that  she  is  destitute  of  education;  and  that  her  journey 
of  life,  throughout  its  texture,  has  been  interwoven 
with  troubles,  which  ordinarily  are  calculated  to  impair 
the  faculties  of  the  mind;  and  it  will  be  remembered, 
that  there  are  but  few  old  people  who  can  recollect  with 
precision  the  circumstances  of  their  lives,  (particularly 
those  circumstances  which  transpired  after  middle  age.) 
If,  therefore,  any  error  shall  be  discovered  in  the  nar- 
ration in  respect  to  time,  it  will  be  overlooked  by  the 
kind  reader,  or  charitably  placed  to  the  narrator's  ac- 
count, and  not  imputed  to  neglect,  or  to  the  want  of 
attention  in  the  compiler. 

The  appendix  is  principally  taken  from  the  words  of 
Mrs.  Jemison's  statements.  Those  parts  which  were 
not  derived  from  her,  are  deserving  equal  credit,  having 
been  obtained  from  authentic  sources. 

For  the  accommodation  of  the  reader,  the  work  has 
been  divided  into  chapters,  and  a  copious  table  of  con- 



tents  affixed.  The  introduction  will  facilitate  the  un- 
derstanding of  what  follows;  and  as  it  contains  matter 
that  could  not  be  inserted  with  propriety  in  any  other 
place,  will  be  read  with  interest  and  satisfaction. 

Having  finished  my  undertaking,  the  subsequent 
pages  are  cheerfully  submitted  to  the  perusal  and  ap- 
probation or  animadversion  of  a  candid,  generous  and 
indulgent  public.  At  the  same  time  it  is  fondly  hoped 
that  the  lessons  of  distress  that  are  pourtrayed,  may 
have  a  direct  tendency  to  increase  our  love  of  liberty; 
to  enlarge  our  views  of  the  blessings  that  are  derived 
from  our  liberal  institutions;  and  to  excite  in  our  breasts 
sentiments  of  devotion  and  gratitude  to  the  great  Au- 
thor and  finisher  of  our  happiness. 


Pembroke,  March  i,  1824. 



THE  Peace  of  1783,  and  the  consequent  cessa- 
tion of  Indian  hostilities  and  barbarities,  returned 
to  their  friends  those  prisoners,  who  had  escaped 
the  tomahawk,  the  gauntlet,  and  the  savage  fire, 
after  their  having  spent  many  years  in  captivity, 
and  restored  harmony  to  society. 

The  stories  of  Indian  cruelties  which  were  com- 
mon in  the  new  settlements,  and  were  calamitous 
realities  previous  to  that  propitious  event;  slum- 
bered in  the  minds  that  had  been  constantly  agi- 
tated by  them,  and  were  only  roused  occasionally, 
to  become  the  fearful  topic  of  the  fireside. 

It  is  presumed  that  at  this  time  there  are  but 
few  native  Americans  that  have  arrived  to  middle 
age,  who  cannot  distinctly  recollect  of  sitting  in 
the  chimney  corner  when  children,  all  contracted 
with  fear,  and  there  listening  to  their  parents  or 
visitors,  while  they  related  stories  of  Indian  con- 
quests, and  murders,  that  would  make  their  flaxen 
hair  nearly  stand  erect,  and  almost  destroy  the 
power  of  motion. 

At  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  war;  all  that 
part  of  the  State  of  New- York  that  lies  west  of  Uti- 
ca  was  uninhabited  by  white  people,  and  few  in- 
deed had  ever  passed  beyond  Fort  Stanwix,  ex- 
cept when  engaged  in  war  against  the  Indians,  who 
were  numerous,  and  occupied  a  number  of  large 
towns  between  the  Mohawk  river  and  lake  Erie. 


Sometime  elapsed  after  this  event,  before  the  coun- 
try about  the  lakes  and  on  the  Genesee  river  was 
visited,  save  by  an  occasional  land  speculator,  or 
by  defaulters  who  wished  by  retreating  to  what  in 
those  days  was  deemed  almost  the  end  of  the  earth, 
to  escape  the  force  of  civil  law. 

At  length,  the  richness  and  fertility  of  the  soil 
excited  emigration,  and  here  and  there  a  family 
settled  down  and  commenced  improvements  in  the 
country  which  had  recently  been  the  property  of 
the  aborigines.  Those  who  settled  near  the  Gen- 
esee river,  soon  became  acquainted  with  "The 
White  Woman,"  as  Mrs.  Jemison  is  called,  whose 
history  they  anxiously  sought,  both  as  a  matter  of 
interest  and  curiosity.  Frankness  characterized 
her  conduct,  and  without  reserve  she  would  readi- 
ly gratify  them  by  relating  some  of  the  most  im- 
portant periods  of  her  life. 

Although  her  bosom  companion  was  an  ancient 
Indian  warrior,  and  notwithstanding  her  children 
and  associates  were  all  Indians,  yet  it  was  found 
that  she  possessed  an  uncommon  share  of  hospital- 
ity, and  that  her  friendship  was  well  worth  court- 
ing and  preserving.  Her  house  was  the  stranger's 
home;  from  her  table  the  hungry  were  refresh- 
ed;— she  made  the  naked  as  comfortable  as  her 
means  would  admit  of;  and  in  all  her  actions,  dis- 
covered so  much  natural  goodness  of  heart,  that 
her  admirers  increased  in  proportion  to  the  exten- 
sion of  her  acquaintance,  and  she  became  celebra- 
ted as  the  friend  of  the  distressed.  She  was  the 
protectress  of  the  homeless  fugitive,  and  made 
welcome  the  weary  wanderer.  Many  still  live  to 
commemorate  her  benevolence  towards  them, 


when  prisoners  during  the  war,  and  to  ascribe  their 
deliverance  to  the  mediation  of  "The  White  Wo- 

The  settlements  increased,  and  the  whole  coun- 
try around  her  was  inhabited  by  a  rich  and  respect- 
able people,  principally  from  New-England,  as 
much  distinguished  for  their  spirit  of  inquisitive- 
ness  as  for  their  habits  of  industry  and  honesty, 
who  had  all  heard  from  one  source  and  another  a 
part  of  her  life  in  detached  pieces,  and  had  ob- 
tained an  idea  that  the  whole  taken  in  connection 
would  afford  instruction  and  amusement. 

Many  gentlemen  of  respectability,  felt  anxious 
that  her  narrative  might  be  laid  before  the  public, 
with  a  view  not  only  to  perpetuate  the  remem- 
brance of  the  atrocities  of  the  savages  in  former 
times,  but  to  preserve  some  historical  facts  which 
they  supposed  to  be  intimately  connected  with  her 
life,  and  which  otherwise  must  be  lost. 

Forty  years  had  passed  since  the  close  of  the 
Revolutionary  war,  and  almost  seventy  years  had 
seen  Mrs.  Jemison  with  the  Indians,  when  Daniel 
W.  Banister,  Esq.  at  the  instance  of  several  gen- 
tlemen, and  prompted  by  his  own  ambition  to  add 
something  to  the  accumulating  fund  of  useful 
knowledge,  resolved,  in  the  autumn  of  1823,  to  em- 
brace that  time,  while  she  was  capable  of  recollect- 
ing and  reciting  the  scenes  through  which  she  had 
passed,  to  collect  from  herself,  and  to  publish  to 
the  world,  an  accurate  account  of  her  life. 

I  was  employed  to  collect  the  materials,  and 
prepare  the  work  for  the  press;  and  accordingly 
went  to  the  house  of  Mrs.  Jennet  Whaley  in  the 
town  of  Castile,  Genesee  co.  N.  Y.  in  company 


with  the  publisher,  who  procured  the  interesting 
subject  of  the  following  narrative,  to  come  to  that 
place  (a  distance  of  four  miles)  and  there  repeat 
the  story  of  her  eventful  life.  She  came  on  foot 
in  company  with  Mr.  Thomas  Clute,  whom  she 
considers  her  protector,  and  tarried  almost  three 
days,  which  time  was  busily  occupied  in  taking  a 
sketch  of  her  narrative  as  she  recited  it. 

Her  appearance  was  well  calculated  to  excite  a 
great  degree  of  sympathy  in  a  stranger,  who  had 
been  partially  informed  of  her  origin,  when  com- 
paring her  present  situation  with  what  it  probably 
would  have  been,  had  she  been  permitted  to  have 
remained  with  her  friends,  and  to  have  enjoyed 
the  blessings  of  civilization. 

In  stature  she  is  very  short,  and  considera- 
bly under  the  middle  size,  and  stands  tolerably 
erect,  with  her  head  bent  forward,  apparently  from 
her  having  for  a  long  time  been  accustomed  to 
carrying  heavy  burdens  in  a  strap  placed  across 
her  forehead.  Her  complexion  is  very  white  for  a 
woman  of  her  age,  and  although  the  wrinkles  of 
fourscore  years  are  deeply  indented  in  her  cheeks, 
yet  the  crimson  of  youth  is  distinctly  visible.  Her 
eyes  are  light  blue,  a  little  faded  by  age,  and  nat- 
urally brilliant  and  sparkling.  Her  sight  is  quite 
dim,  though  she  is  able  to  perform  her  necessary 
labor  without  the  assistance  of  glasses.  Her  cheek 
bones  are  high,  and  rather  prominent,  and  her 
front  teeth,  in  the  lower  jaw,  are  sound  and  good. 
When  she  looks  up  and  is  engaged  in  conversation 
her  countenance  is  very  expressive;  but  from  her 
long  residence  with  the  Indians,  she  has  acquired 
the  habit  of  peeping  from  under  eye-brows  as  they 


do  with  the  head  inclined  downwards.  Formerly 
her  hair  was  of  a  light  chesnut  brown — it  is  now 
quite  grey,  a  little  curled,  of  middling  length  and 
tied  in  a  bunch  behind.  She  informed  me  that 
she  had  never  worn  a  cap  nor  a  comb. 

She  speaks  English  plainly  and  distinctly,  with 
a  little  of  the  Irish  emphasis,  and  has  the  use  of 
words  so  well  as  to  render  herself  intelligible  on 
any  subject  with  which  she  is  acquainted.  Her 
recollection  and  memory  exceeded  my  expecta- 
tion. It  cannot  be  reasonably  supposed,  that  a 
person  of  her  age  has  kept  the  events  of  seventy 
years  in  so  complete  a  chain  as  to  be  able  to  as- 
sign to  each  its  proper  time  and  place;  she,  how- 
ever, made  her  recital  with  as  few  obvious  mistakes 
as  might  be  found  in  that  of  a  person  of  fifty. 

She  walks  with  a  quick  step  without  a  staff,  and 
I  was  informed  by  Mr.  Clute,  that  she  could  yet 
cross  a  stream  on  a  log  or  pole  as  steadily  as  any 
other  person. 

Her  passions  are  easily  excited.  At  a  number 
of  periods  in  her  narration,  tears  trickled  down  her 
grief  worn  cheek,  and  at  the  same  time  a  rising 
sigh  would  stop  her  utterance. 

Industry  is  a  virtue  which  she  has  uniformly 
practised  from  the  day  of  her  adoption  to  the 
present.  She  pounds  her  samp,  cooks  for  herself, 
gathers  and  chops  wood,  feeds  her  cattle  and  poul- 
try, and  performs  other  laborious  services.  Last 
season  she  planted,  tended  and  gathered  corn — in 
short,  she  is  always  busy. 

Her  dress  at  the  time  I  saw  her,  was  made  and 
worn  after  the  Indian  fashion,  and  consisted  of  a 
shirt,  short  gown,  petticoat,  stockings,  moccasins, 


a  blanket  and  a  bonnet.  The  shirt  was  of  cotton 
and  made  at  the  top,  as  I  was  informed,  like  a 
man's  without  collar  or  sleeves — was  open  before 
and  extended  down  about  midway  of  the  hips. — 
The  petticoat  was  a  piece  of  broadcloth  with  the 
list  at  the  top  and  bottom  and  the  ends  sewed  to- 
gether. This  was  tied  on  by  a  string  that  was 
passed  over  it  and  around  the  waist,  in  such  a  man- 
ner as  to  let  the  bottom  of  the  petticoat  down  half 
way  between  the  knee  and  ankle  and  leave  one- 
fourth  of  a  yard  at  the  top  to  be  turned  down  over 
the  string — the  bottom  of  the  shirt  coming  a  little 
below,  and  on  the  outside  of  the  top  of  the  fold  so 
as  to  leave  the  list  and  two  or  three  inches  of  the 
cloth  uncovered.  The  stockings,  were  of  blue 
broadcloth,  tied,  or  pinned  on,  which  reached  from 
the  knees,  into  the  mouth  of  the  moccasins. — 
Around  her  toes  only  she  had  some  rags,  and  over 
these  her  buckskin  moccasins.  Her  gown  was  of 
undressed  flannel,  colored  brown.  It  was  made  in 
old  yankee  style,  with  long  sleeves,  covered  the 
top  of  the  hips,  and  was  tied  before  in  two  places 
with  strings  of  deer  skin.  Over  all  this,  she  wore 
an  Indian  blanket.  On  her  head  she  wore  a  piece 
of  old  brown  woollen  cloth  made  somewhat  like  a 
sun  bonnet. 

Such  was  the  dress  that  this  woman  was  content- 
ed to  wear,  and  habit  had  rendered  it  convenient 
and  comfortable.  She  wore  it  not  as  a  matter  of 
necessity,  but  from  choice,  for  it  will  be  seen  in  the 
sequel,  that  her  property  is  sufficient  to  enable  her 
to  dress  in  the  best  fashion,  and  to  allow  her  every 
comfort  of  life. 

Her  house,  in  which  she  lives,  is  20  by  28  feet; 


built  of  square  timber,  with  a  shingled  roof,  and  a 
framed  stoop.  In  the  centre  of  the  house  is  a 
chimney  of  stones  and  sticks,  in  which  there  are 
two  fire  places.  She  has  a  good  framed  barn,  26 
by  36,  well  filled,  and  owns  a  fine  stock  of  cattle 
and  horses.  Besides  the  buildings  above  mention- 
ed, she  owns  a  number  of  houses  that  are  occupied 
by  tenants,  who  work  her  flats  upon  shares. 

Her  dwelling,  is  about  one  hundred  rods  north 
of  the  Great  Slide,  a  curiosity  that  will  be  described 
in  its  proper  place,  on  the  west  side  of  the  Gene- 
see  river. 

Mrs.  Jemison,  appeared  sensible  of  her  igno- 
rance of  the  manners  of  the  white  people,  and  for 
that  reason,  was  not  familiar,  except  with  those 
with  whom  she  was  intimately  acquainted.  In 
fact  she  was  (to  appearance)  so  jealous  of  her 
rights,  or  that  she  should  say  something  that  would 
be  injurious  to  herself  or  family,  that  if  Mr.  Clute 
had  not  been  present,  we  should  have  been  unable 
to  have  obtained  her  history.  She,  however,  soon 
became  free  and  unembarrassed  in  her  conversa- 
tion, and  spoke  with  a  degree  of  mildness,  candor 
and  simplicity,  that  is  calculated  to  remove  all 
doubts  as  to  the  veracity  of  the  speaker.  The 
vices  of  the  Indians,  she  appeared  disposed  not  to 
aggravate,  and  seemed  to  take  pride  in  extoling 
their  virtues.  A  kind  of  family  pride  inclined  her 
to  withhold  whatever  would  blot  the  character  of 
her  descendants,  and  perhaps  induced  her  to  keep 
back  many  things  that  would  have  been  interest- 

For  the  life  of  her  last  husband,  we  are  indebted 
to  her  cousin,  Mr.  George  Jemison,  to  whom  she 



referred  us  for  information  on  that  subject  gener- 
ally. The  thoughts  of  his  deeds,  probably  chilled 
her  old  heart,  and  made  her  dread  to  rehearse 
them,  and  at  the  same  time  she  well  knew  they 
were  no  secret,  for  she  had  frequently  heard  him 
relate  the  whole,  not  only  to  her  cousin,  but  to 

Before  she  left  us  she  was  very  sociable,  and  she 
resumed  her  naturally  pleasant  countenance,  en- 
livened with  a  smile. 

Her  neighbors  speak  of  her  as  possessing  one  of 
the  happiest  tempers  and  dispositions,  and  give 
her  the  name  of  never  having  done  a  censurable 
act  to  their  knowledge. 

Her  habits,  are  those  of  the  Indians — she  sleeps 
on  skins  without  a  bedstead,  sits  upon  the  floor  or 
on  a  bench,  and  holds  her  victuals  on  her  lap,  or 
in  her  hands. 

Her  ideas  of  religion,  correspond  in  every  res- 
pect with  those  of  the  great  mass  of  the  Senecas. 
She  applauds  virtue,  and  despises  vice.  She  be- 
lieves in  a  future  state,  in  which  the  good  will  be 
happy,  and  the  bad  miserable;  and  that  the  ac- 
quisition of  that  happiness,  depends  primarily 
upon  human  volition,  and  the  consequent  good 
deeds  of  the  happy  recipient  of  blessedness.  The 
doctrines  taught  in  the  Christian  religion,  she  is  a 
stranger  to. 

Her  daughters  are  said  to  be  active  and  enter- 
prizing  women,  and  her  grandsons,  who  arrived  to 
manhood,  are  considered  able,  decent  and  respect- 
able men  in  their  tribe. 

Having  in  this  cursory  manner,  introduced  the 
subject  of  the  following  pages,  I  proceed  to  the 


narration  of  a  life  that  has  been  viewed  with  at- 
tention, for  a  great  number  of  years  by  a  few,  and 
which  will  be  read  by  the  public  with  the  mixed 
sensations  of  pleasure  and  pain,  and  with  interest, 
anxiety  and  satisfaction. 







IN    THE   YEAR    1755, 

When  only  about  twelve  years  of  age,  and  has  continued 
to  reside  amongst  them  to  the  present  time. 





Barbarities  of  the  Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolutionary  War»5 


And  many   Historical   Fads  never   before  published. 


Nov.  29tb,  1823. 

TO    WHICH    IS    ADDED, 


Containing  an  Account  of  the  Tragedy  at  the  Devil's 
Hole,  in  1763,  and  of  Sullivan's  Expedition  ;  the  Tradi- 
tions, Manners,  Customs,  &c.,  of  the  Indians,  as  believed 
and  practised  at  the  present  day,  and  since  Mrs. 
Jemison's  Captivity ;  together  4.with  some  Anecdotes, 
and  other  entertaining  Matter. 






(Actual  size) 





Nativity  of  her  Parents. — Their  removal  to  America. — 
Her  Birth. — Parents  settle  in  Pennsylvania. — Omen 
of  her  Captivity. 

ALTHOUGH  I  may  have  frequently  heard  the 
history  of  my  ancestry,  my  recollection  is  too  im- 
perfect to  enable  me  to  trace  it  further  back  than 
to  my  father  and  mother,  whom  I  have  often  heard 
mention  the  families  from  whence  they  originated, 
as  having  possessed  wealth  and  honorable  stations 
under  the  government  of  the  country  in  which 
they  resided. 

On  the  account  of  the  great  length  of  time  that 
has  elapsed  since  I  was  separated  from  my  parents 
and  friends,  and  having  heard  the  story  of  their 
nativity  only  in  the  days  of  my  childhood,  I  am 
not  able  to  state  positively,  which  of  the  two  coun- 
tries, Ireland  or  Scotland,  was  the  land  of  my  parents' 
birth  and  education.  It,  however,  is  my  impression, 
that  they  were  born  and  brought  up  in  Ireland.7 


i8  LIFE  OF 

My  Father's  name  was  Thomas  Jemison,  and 
my  mother's,  before  her  marriage  with  him,  was 
Jane  Erwin.  Their  affection  for  each  other  was 
mutual,  and  of  that  happy  kind  which  tends  direct- 
ly to  sweeten  the  cup  of  life;  to  render  connubial 
sorrows  lighter;  to  assuage  every  discontentment; 
and  to  promote  not  only  their  own  comfort,  but 
that  of  all  who  come  within  the  circle  of  their 
acquaintance.  Of  their  happiness  I  recollect  to 
have  heard  them  speak;  and  the  remembrance  I 
yet  retain  of  their  mildness  and  perfect  agreement 
in  the  government  of  their  children,  together  with 
their  mutual  attention  to  our  common  education, 
manners,  religious  instruction  and  wants,  renders  it 
a  fact  in  my  mind,  that  they  were  ornaments  to 
the  married  state,  and  examples  of  connubial  love, 
worthy  of  imitation.  After  my  remembrance, 
they  were  strict  observers  of  religious  duties;  for 
it  was  the  daily  practice  of  my  father,  morning 
and  evening,  to  attend,  in  his  family,  to  the  wor- 
ship of  God. 

Resolved  to  leave  the  land  of  their  nativity, 
they  removed  from  their  residence  to  a  port  in 
Ireland,  where  they  lived  but  a  short  time  before 
they  set  sail  for  this  country,  in  the  year  1742  or  3, 
on  board  the  ship  Mary  William,  bound  to  Phila- 
delphia, in  the  state  of  Pennsylvania. 

The  intestine  divisions,  civil  wars,  and  ecclesias- 
tical rigidity  and  domination  that  prevailed  in 
those  days,  were  the  causes  of  their  leaving  their 
mother  country,  to  find  a  home  in  the  American 
wilderness,  under  the  mild  and  temperate  govern- 
ment of  the  descendants  of  William  Penn;  where, 
without  fear,  they  might  worship  God,  and  per- 
form their  usual  avocations. 


In  Europe  my  parents  had  two  sons  and  one 
daughter,  whose  names  were  John,  Thomas  and 
Betsey;  with  whom,  after  having  put  their  effects 
on  board,  they  embarked,  leaving  a  large  connex- 
ion of  relatives  and  friends,  under  all  those  painful 
sensations,  which  are  only  felt  when  kindred  souls 
give  the  parting  hand  and  last  farewell  to  those  to 
whom  they  are  endeared  by  every  friendly  tie. 

In  the  course  of  their  voyage  I  was  born,8  to  be 
the  sport  of  fortune  and  almost  an  outcast  to  civil 
society;  to  stem  the  current  of  adversity  through 
a  long  chain  of  vicissitudes,  unsupported  by  the 
advice  of  tender  parents,  or  the  hand  of  an  affec- 
tionate friend;  and  even  without  the  enjoyment, 
from  others,  of  any  of  those  tender  sympathies 
that  are  adapted  to  the  sweetening  of  society,  ex- 
cept such  as  naturally  flow  from  uncultivated 
minds,  that  have  been  calloused  by  ferocity. 

Excepting  my  birth,  nothing  remarkable  occur- 
red to  my  parents  on  their  passage,  and  they  were 
safely  landed  at  Philadelphia.  My  father  being 
fond  of  rural  life,  and  having  been  bred  to  agricul- 
tural pursuits,  soon  left  the  city,  and  removed  his 
family  to  the  then  frontier  settlements  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, to  a  tract  of  excellent  land  lying  on  Marsh 
creek.9  At  that  place  he  cleared  a  large  farm,  and 
for  seven  or  eight  years  enjoyed  the  fruits  of  his 
industry.  Peace  attended  their  labors;  and  they 
had  nothing  to  alarm  them,  save  the  midnight  howl 
of  the  prowling  wolf,  or  the  terrifying  shriek  of  the 
ferocious  panther,  as  they  occasionally  visited  their 
improvements,  to  take  a  lamb  or  a  calf  to  satisfy 
their  hunger. 

During  this  period  my  mother  had  two  sons,  be- 

20  LIFE  OF 

tween  whose  ages  there  was  a  difference  of  about 
three  years:  the  oldest  was  named  Matthew,  and 
the  other  Robert. 

Health  presided  on  every  countenance,  and  vigor 
and  strength  characterized  every  exertion.  Our 
mansion  was  a  little  paradise.  The  morning  of 
my  childish,  happy  days,  will  ever  stand  fresh  in 
my  remembrance,  notwithstanding  the  many  se- 
vere trials  through  which  I  have  passed,  in  arriving 
at  my  present  situation,  at  so  advanced  an  age. 
Even  at  this  remote  period,  the  recollection  of  my 
pleasant  home  at  my  father's,  of  my  parents,  of 
my  brothers  and  sister,  and  of  the  manner  in  which 
I  was  deprived  of  them  all  at  once,  affects  me  so 
powerfully,  that  I  am  almost  overwhelmed  with 
grief,  that  is  seemingly  insupportable.  Frequently 
I  dream  of  those  happy  days:  but,  alas!  they  are 
gone:  they  have  left  me  to  be  carried  through  a 
long  life,  dependent  for  the  little  pleasures  of 
nearly  seventy  years,  upon  the  tender  mercies  of 
the  Indians!  In  the  spring  of  I752,10  and  through 
the  succeeding  seasons,  the  stories  of  Indian  bar- 
barities inflicted  upon  the  whites  in  those  days, 
frequently  excited  in  my  parents  the  most  serious 
alarm  for  our  safety. 

The  next  year  the  storm  gathered  faster;  many 
murders  were  committed;  and  many  captives  were 
exposed  to  meet  death  in  its  most  frightful  form, 
by  having  their  bodies  stuck  full  of  pine  splinters, 
which  were  immediately  set  on  fire,  while  their 
tormentors,  exulting  in  their  distress,  would  re- 
joice at  their  agony! 

In  1754,  an  army  for  the  protection  of  the  set- 
tlers, and  to  drive  back  the  French  and  Indians, 


was  raised  from  the  militia  of  the  colonial  govern- 
ments, and  placed  (secondarily)  under  the  com- 
mand of  Col.  George  Washington.  In  that  army 
I  had  an  uncle,  whose  name  was  John  Jemison, 
who  was  killed  at  the  battle  at  the  Great  Meadows,11 
or  Fort  Necessity.  His  wife  had  died  some  time 
before  this,  and  left  a  young  child,  which  my  mo- 
ther nursed  in  the  most  tender  manner,  till  its  mo- 
ther's sister~took  it  away,  a  few  months  after  my 
uncle's  death.  The  French  and  Indians,  after  the 
surrender  of  Fort  Necessity  by  Col.  Washington, 
(which  happened  the  same  season,  and  soon  after 
his  victory  over  them  at  that  place,)  grew  more  «/ 
and  more  terrible.  The  death  of  the  whites,  and 
plundering  and  burning  their  property,  was  appa- 
rently their  only  object:  But  as  yet  we  had  not 
heard  the  death-yell,  nor  seen  the  smoke  of  a 
dwelling  that  had  been  lit  by  an  Indian's  hand. 

The  return  of  a  new-year's  day  found  us  unmo- 
lested; and  though  we  knew  that  the  enemy  was 
at  no  great  distance  from  us,  my  father  concluded 
that  he  would  continue  to  occupy  his  land  another 
season:  expecting  (probably  from  the  great  exer- 
tions which  the  government  was  then  making)  that 
as  soon  as  the  troops  could  commence  their  opera- 
tions in  the  spring,  the  enemy  would  be  conquered 
and  compelled  to  agree  to  a  treaty  of  peace. 

In  the  preceding  autumn  my  father  either  mov- 
ed to  another  part  of  his  farm,  or  to  another  neigh- 
borhood, a  short  distance  from  our  former  abode. 
I  well  recollect  moving,  and  that  the  barn  that  was 
on  the  place  we  moved  to  was  built  of  logs,  though 
the  house  was  a  good  one. 
i  The  winter  of  1754 — 5  12  was  as  mild  as  a  com- 

22  LIFE  OF 

mon  fall  season,13  and  the  spring  presented  a  pleas- 
ant seed  time,  and  indicated  a  plenteous  harvest. 
My  father,  with  the  assistance  of  his  oldest  sons, 
repaired  his  farm  as  usual,  and  was  daily  preparing 
the  soil  for  the  reception  of  the  seed.  His  cattle 
and  sheep  were  numerous,  and  according  to  the 
best  idea  of  wealth  that  I  can  now  form,  he  was 

But  alas!  how  transitory  are  all  human  affairs! 
how  fleeting  are  riches!  how  brittle  the  invisible 
thread  on  which  all  earthly  comforts  are  suspend- 
ed! Peace  in  a  moment  can  take  an  immeasurable 
flight;  health  can  lose  its  rosy  cheeks;  and  life 
will  vanish  like  a  vapor  at  the  appearance  of  the 
sun!  In  one  fatal  day  our  prospects  were  all 
blasted;  and  death,  by  cruel  hands,  inflicted  upon 
almost  the  whole  of  the  family. 

On  a  pleasant  day  in  the  spring  of  1755,"  when 
my  father  was  sowing  flax-seed,  and  my  brothers 
driving  the  teams,  I  was  sent  to  a  neighbor's  house, 
a  distance  of  perhaps  a  mile,  to  procure  a  horse 
and  return  with  it  the  next  morning.  I  went  as  I 
was  directed.  I  was  out  of  the  house  in  the  be- 
ginning of  the  evening,  and  saw  a  sheet  wide 
spread  approaching  towards  me,  in  which  I  was 
caught  (as  I  have  ever  since  believed)  and  depriv- 
ed of  my  senses!  The  family  soon  found  me  on 
the  ground,  almost  lifeless,  (as  they  said,)  took  me 
in,  and  made  use  of  every  remedy  in  their  power 
for  my  recovery,  but  without  effect  till  day-break, 
when  my  senses  returned,  and  I  soon  found  my- 
self in  good  health,  so  that  I  went  home  with  the 
horse  very  early  in  the  morning. 

The  appearance  of  that  sheet,  I  have  ever  con- 


sidered  as  a  forerunner  of  the  melancholy  catastro- 
phe that  so  soon  afterwards  happened  to  our  fam- 
ily: and  my  being  caught  in  it,  I  believe,  was 
ominous  of  my  preservation  from  death  at  the 
time  we  were  captured. 


Her  Education. — Captivity. — Journey  to  Fort  Pitt. — 
Mother's  Farewell  Address. — Murder  of  her  Family. 
— Preparation  of  the  Scalps. — Indian  Precautions. — 
Arrival  at  Fort  Pitt,  &c. 

MY   education    had    received   as   much    attention 
from  my  parents,  as  their  situation  in  a  new  coun- 
try would   admit  of.     I  had   been  at'  school  some,  *• 
where  I  learned  to  read  in  a  book  that  was  about 
half  as  large  as  a  Bible;    and  in  the  Bible  I  had  \ 
read   a   little.     I   had   also   learned   the   Catechism, 
which  I   used  frequently  to  repeat  to  my  parents, 
and  every  night,  before  I  went  to  bed,  I  was  obli- 
ged   to    stand    up    before    my    mother    and    repeat 
some  words  that  I  suppose  was  a  prayer. 

My  reading,  Catechism  and  prayers,  I  have 
long  since  forgotten;  though  for  a  number  of 
the  first  years  that  I  lived  with  the  Indians,  I 
repeated  the  prayers  as  often  as  I  had  an  opportu- 
nity. After  the  revolutionary  war,  I  remembered 
the  names  of  some  of  the  letters  when  I  saw  them; 
but  have  never  read  a  word  since  I  was  taken  f 
prisoner.  It  is  but  a  few  years  since  a  Missionary 
kindly  gave  me  a  Bible,  which  I  am  very  fond  of 

24  LIFE  OF 

hearing  my  neighbors  read  to  me,  and  should  be 
pleased  to  learn  to  read  it  myself;  but  my  sight 
has  been  for  a  number  of  years,  so  dim  that  I  have 
not  been  able  to  distinguish  one  letter  from  another. 

As  I  before  observed,  I  got  home  with  the  horse 
very  early  in  the  morning,  where  I  found  a  man 
that  lived  in  our  neighborhood,  and  his  sister-in- 
law  who  had  three  children,  one  son  and  two 
daughters.  I  soon  learned  that  they  had  come 
there  to  live  a  short  time;  but  for  what  purpose  I 
cannot  say.  The  woman's  husband,15  however,  was 
at  that  time  in  Washington's  army,  righting  for 
his  country;  and  as  her  brother-in-law  had  a  house 
she  had  lived  with  him  in  his  absence.  Their 
names  I  have  forgotten. 

Immediately  after  I  got  home,  the  man  took 
the  horse  to  go  to  his  house  after  a  bag  of  grain, 
and  took  his  gun  in  his  hand  for  the  purpose  of 
killing  game,  if  he  should  chance  to  see  any. — 
Our  family,  as  usual,  was  busily  employed  about 
their  common  business.  Father  was  shaving  an 
axe-helve  at  the  side  of  the  house;  mother  was 
making  preparations  for  breakfast; — my  two  old- 
est brothers  were  at  work  near  the  barn;  and  the 
little  ones,  with  myself,  and  the  woman  and  her 
three  children,  were  in  the  house. 

Breakfast  was  not  yet  ready,  when  we  were 
alarmed  by  the  discharge  of  a  number  of  guns, 
that  seemed  to  be  near.  Mother  and  the  women 
before  mentioned,  almost  fainted  at  the  report, 
and  every  one  trembled  with  fear.  On  opening 
the  door,  the  man  and  horse  lay  dead  near  the 
house,  having  just  been  shot  by  the  Indians. 
'  I  was  afterwards  informed,  that  the  Indians 


discovered  him  at  his  own  house  with  his  gun,  and 
pursued  him  to  father's,  where  they  shot  him  as  I 
have  related.  They  first  secured  my  father,  and 
then  rushed  into  the  house,  and  without  the  least 
resistance  made  prisoners  of  my  mother,  Robert, 
Matthew,  Betsey,  the  woman  and  her  three  chil- 
dren, and  myself,  and  then  commenced  plun- 

My  two  brothers,  Thomas  and  John,17  being"  at 
the  barn,  escaped  and  went  to  Virginia,  where  my 
grandfather  Erwin  then  lived,  as  I  was  informed 
by  a  Mr.  Fields,  who  was  at  my  house  about  the 
close  of  the  revolutionary  war. 

The  party  that  took  us  consisted  of  six  Indians 
and  four  Frenchmen,  who  immediately  commen- 
ced plundering,  as  I  just  observed,  and  took  what 
they  considered  most  valuable;  consisting  princi- 
pally of  bread,  meal  and  meat.  Having  taken  as 
much  provision  as  they  could  carry,  they  set  out 
with  their  prisoners  in  great  haste,  for  fear  of 
detection,  and  soon  entered  the  woods.18  On  our 
march  that  day,  an  Indian  went  behind  us  with  a 
whip,  with  which  he  frequently  lashed  the  children 
to  make  them  keep  up.  In  this  manner  we  trav- 
elled till  dark  without  a  mouthful  of  food  or  a 
drop  of  water;  although  we  had  not  eaten  since 
the  night  before.  Whenever  the  little  children 
cried  for  water,  the  Indians  would  make  them 
drink  urine  or  go  thirsty.  At  night  they  encamped 
in  the  woods  without  fire  and  without  shelter, 
where  we  were  watched  with  the  greatest  vigilance. 
Extremely  fatigued,  and  very  hungry,  we  were 
compelled  to  lie  upon  the  ground  supperless  and 
without  a  drop  of  water  to  satisfy  the  cravings  of 
3  C 

26  LIFE  OF 

our  appetites.  As  in  the  day  time,  so  the  little 
ones  were  made  to  drink  urine  in  the  night  if  they 
cried  for  water.  Fatigue  alone  brought  us  a  little 
sleep  for  the  refreshment  of  our  weary  limbs;  and 
at  the  dawn  of  day  19  we  were  again  started  on  our 
march  in  the  same  order  that  we  had  proceeded 
on  the  day  before.  About  sunrise  we  were 
halted,  and  the  Indians  gave  us  a  full  breakfast  of 
provision  that  they  had  brought  from  my  father's 
house.  Each  of  us  being  very  hungry,  partook  of 
this  bounty  of  the  Indians,  except  father,  who  was 
so  much  overcome  with  his  situation — so  much 
exhausted  by  anxiety  and  grief,  that  silent  despair 
seemed  fastened  upon  his  countenance,  and  he 
could  not  be  prevailed  upon  to  refresh  his  sinking 
nature  by  the  use  of  a  morsel  of  food.  Our  repast 
being  finished,  we  again  resumed  our  march,  and 
before  noon  passed  a  small  fort  that  I  heard  my 
father  say  was  called  Fort  Canagojigge.20 

That  was  the  only  time  that  I  heard  him  speak 
from  the  time  we  were  taken  till  we  were  finally 
separated  the  following  night. 

Towards  evening  we  arrived  at  the  border  of  a 
dark  and  dismal  swamp,  which  was  covered  with 
small  hemlocks,  or  some  other  evergreen,  and  other 
bushes,  into  which  we  were  conducted;  and  having 
gone  a  short  distance  we  stopped  to  encamp  for 
the  night. 

Here  we  had  some  bread  and  meat  for  supper: 
but  the  dreariness  of  our  situation,  together  with  the 
uncertainty  under  which  we  all  labored,  as  to  our 
future  destiny,  almost  deprived  us  of  the  sense  of 
hunger,  and  destroyed  our  relish  for  food. 

Mother,    from    the    time    we    were    taken,    had 


manifested  a  great  degree  of  fortitude,  and  encour-  $ 
aged  us  to  support  our  troubles  without  complaining; 
and  by  her  conversation  seemed  to  make  the  dis- 
tance and  time  shorter,  and  the  way  more  smooth. 
But  father  lost  all  his  ambition  in  the  beginning  of 
our  trouble,  and  continued  apparently  lost  to  every 
care — absorbed  in  melancholy.  Here,  as  before, 
she  insisted  on  the  necessity  of  our  eating;  and  we 
obeyed  her,  but  it  was  done  with  heavy  hearts. 

As  soon  as  I  had  finished  my  supper,  an  Indian 
took  off  my  shoes  and  stockings  and  put  a  pair  of 
moccasins  on  my  feet,  which  my  mother  observed; 
and  believing  that  they  would  spare  my  life,  even 
if  they  should  destroy  the  other  captives,  addressed 
me  as  near  as  I  can  remember  in  the  following 
words: — 

"My  dear  little  Mary,  I  fear  that  the  time  has 
arrived  when  we  must  be  parted  forever.  Your 
life,  my  child,  I  think  will  be  spared;  but  we  shall 
probably  be  tomahawked  here  in  this  lonesome 
place  by  the  Indians.  O!  how  can  I  part  with  you 
my  darling?  What  will  become  of  my  sweet  little 
Mary?  Oh!  how  can  I  think  of  your  being  con- 
tinued in  captivity  without  a  hope  of  your  being 
rescued?  O  that  death  had  snatched  you  from  my 
embraces  in  your  infancy;  the  pain  of  parting  then 
would  have  been  pleasing  to  what  it  now  is;  and  I 
should  have  seen  the  end  of  your  troubles! — Alas, 
my  dear!  my  heart  bleeds  at  the  thoughts  of  what 
awaits  you;  but,  if  you  'leave  us,  remember  my 
child  your  own  name,  and  the  name  of  your  father 
and  mother.  Be  careful  and  not  forget  your 
English  tongue.  If  you  shall  have  an  opportunity 
to  get  away  from  the  Indians,  don't  try  to  escape;  } 

28  LIFE  OF 

for  if  you  do  they  will  find  and  destroy  you.  Don't 
forget,  my  little  daughter,  the  prayers  that  I  have 
learned  you — say  them  often;  be  a  good  child, 
and  God  will  bless  you.  May  God  bless  you  my 
child,  and  make  you  comfortable  and  happy." 

During  this  time,  the  Indians  stripped  the  shoes 
and  stockings  from  the  little  boy  that  belonged  to 
the  woman  who  was  taken  with  us,  and  put  moc- 
casins on  his  feet,  as  they  had  done  before  on  mine. 
I  was  crying.  An  Indian  took  the  little  boy  and 
myself  by  the  hand,  to  lead  us  off  from  the  com- 
pany, when  my  mother  exclaimed,  "Don't  cry 
Mary — don't  cry  my  child.  God  will  bless  you! 
Farewell — farewell !" 

The  Indian  led  us  some  distance  into  the  bushes, 
or  woods,  and  there  lay  down  with  us  to  spend  the 
night.  The  recollection  of  parting  with  my  tender 
mother  kept  me  awake,  while  the  tears  constantly 
flowed  from  my  eyes.  A  number  of  times  in  the 
night  the  little  boy  begged  of  me  earnestly  to  run 
away  with  him  and  get  clear  of  the  Indians;  but 
remembering  the  advice  I  had  so  lately  received, 
and  knowing  the  dangers  to  which  we  should  be 
exposed,  in  travelling  without  a  path  and  without 
a  guide,  through  a  wilderness  unknown  to  us,  I  told 
him  that  I  would  not  go,  and  persuaded  him  to  lie 
still  till  morning. 

Early  the  next  morning  Zl  the  Indians  and  French- 
men that  we  had  left  the  night  before,  came  to  us; 
but  our  friends  were  left  behind.  It  is  impossible 
for  any  one  to  form  a  correct  idea  of  what  my  feel- 
ings were  at  the  sight  of  those  savages,  whom  I 
supposed  had  murdered  my  parents  and  brothers, 
sister,  and  friends,  and  left  them  in  the  swamp  to 


be  devoured  by  wild  beasts!  But  what  could  I  do? 
A  poor  little  defenceless  girl;  without  the  power 
or  means  of  escaping;  without  a  home  to  go  to, 
even  if  I  could  be  liberated;  without  a  knowledge 
of  the  direction  or  distance  to  my  former  place  of 
residence;  and  without  a  living  friend  to  whom  to 
fly  for  protection,  I  felt  a  kind  of  horror,  anxiety, 
and  dread,  that,  to  me,  seemed  insupportable.  I 
durst  not  cry — I  durst  not  complain;  and  to  inquire 
of  them  the  fate  of  my  friends  (even  if  I  could  have 
mustered  resolution)  was  beyond  my  ability,  as  I 
could  not  speak  their  language,  nor  they  understand 
mine.  My  only  relief  was  in  silent  stifled  sobs. 

My  suspicions  as  to  the  fate  of  my  parents  proved 
too  true;  for  soon  after  I  left  them  they  were  killed 
and  scalped,  together  with  Robert,  Matthew,  Bet- 
sey,22 and  the  woman  and  her  two  children,  and 
mangled  in  the  most  shocking  manner.23 

Having  given  the  little  boy  and  myself  some 
bread  and  meat  for  breakfast,  they  led  us  on  as  fast 
as  we  could  travel,  and  one  of  them  went  behind 
and  with  a  long  staff,  picked  up  all  the  grass  and 
weeds  that  we  trailed  down  by  going  over  them. 
By  taking  that  precaution  they  avoided  detection; 
for  each  weed  was  so  nicely  placed  in  its  natural 
position  that  no  one  would  have  suspected  that  we 
had  passed  that  way.  It  is  the  custom  of  Indians 
when  scouting,  or  on  private  expeditions,  to  step 
carefully  and  where  no  impression  of  their  feet  can 
be  left — shunning  wet  or  muddy  ground.  They 
seldom  take  hold  of  a  bush  or  limb,  and  never  break 
one;  and  by  observing  those  precautions  and  that 
of  setting  up  the  weeds  and  grass  which  they  neces- 
sarily lop,  they  completely  elude  the  sagacity  of 


30  LIFE  OF 

their  pursuers,  and  escape  that  punishment  which 
they  are  conscious  they  merit  from  the  hand  of 

After  a  hard  day's  march  we  encamped  in  a 
thicket,  where  the  Indians  made  a  shelter  of  boughs, 
and  then  built  a  good  fire  to  warm  and  dry  our 
benumbed  limbs  and  clothing;  for  it  had  rained 
some  through  the  day.  Here  we  were  again  fed 
as  before.  When  the  Indians  had  finished  their 
supper  they  took  from  their  baggage  a  number  of 
scalps  and  went  about  preparing  them  for  the 
market,  or  to  keep  without  spoiling,  by  straining 
them  over  small  hoops  which  they  prepared  for 
that  purpose,  and  then  drying  and  scraping  them 
by  the  fire.  Having  put  the  scalps>  yet  wet  and 
bloody,  upon  the  hoops,  and  stretched  them  to  their 
full  extent,  they  held  them  to  the  fire  till  they  were 
partly  dried  and  then  with  their  knives  commenced 
scraping  off"  the  flesh;  and  in  that  way  they  con- 
tinued to  work,  alternately  drying  and  scraping 
them,  till  they  were  dry  and  clean.  That  being 
done  they  combed  the  hair  in  the  neatest  manner, 
and  then  painted  it  and  the  edges  of  the  scalps  yet 
on  the  hoops,  red.  Those  scalps  I  knew  at  the  time 
must  have  been  taken  from  our  family  by  the  color 
of  the  hair.  My  mother's  hair  was  red;  and  I 
could  easily  distinguish  my  father's  and  the  chil- 
dren's from  each  other.  That  sight  was  most 
appaling;  yet,  I  was  obliged  to  endure  it  without 

In  the  course  of  the  night  they  made  me  to  un- 
derstand that  they  should  not  have  killed  the 
family  if  the  whites  had  not  pursued  them. 

Mr.    Fields,    whom    I    have    before    mentioned, 


informed  me  that  at  the  time  we  were  taken,  he 
lived  in  the  vicinity  of  my  father;  and  that  on 
hearing  of  our  captivity,  the  whole  neighborhood 
turned  out  in  pursuit  of  the  enemy,  and  to  deliver 
us  if  possible:  but  that  their  efforts  were  unavailing. 
They  however  pursued  us  to  the  dark  swamp, 
where  they  found  my  father,  his  family  and  com- 
panions, stripped  and  mangled  in  the  most  inhuman 
manner:  That  from  thence  the  march  of  the  cruel 
monsters  could  not  be  traced  in  any  direction; 
and  that  they  returned  to  their  homes  with  the 
melancholy  tidings  of  our  misfortunes,  supposing 
that  we  had  all  shared  in  the  massacre. 

The  next  morning24  we  went  on;  the  Indian  going 
behind  us  and  setting  up  the  weeds  as  on  the  day 
before.  At  night  we  encamped  on  the  ground  in 
the  open  air,  without  a  shelter  or  fire. 

In  the  morning25  we  again  set  out  early,  and 
travelled  as  on  the  two  former  days,  though  the 
weather  was  extremely  uncomfortable,  from  the 
continual  falling  of  rain  and  snow. 

At  night  the  snow  fell  fast,  and  the  Indians  built 
a  shelter  of  boughs,  and  a  fire,  where  we  rested 
tolerably  dry  through  that  and  the  two  succeeding 

When  we  stopped,  and  before  the  fire  was 
kindled,  I  was  so  much  fatigued  from  running,  and 
so  far  benumbed  by  the  wet  and  cold,  that  I  expect- 
ed that  I  must  fail  and  die  before  I  could  get  warm 
and  comfortable.  The  fire,  however,  soon  restored 
the  circulation,  and  after  I  had  taken  my  supper  I 
felt  so  that  I  rested  well  through  the  night. 

On  account  of  the  storm,  we  were  two  days  26  at  that 
place.  On  one  of  those  days,  a  party  consisting  of 

32  LIFE  OF 

six  Indians  who  had  been  to  the  frontier  settlements, 
came  to  where  we  were,  and  brought  with  them 
one  prisoner,  a  young  white  man  who  was  very 
tired  and  dejected.  His  name  I  have  forgotten. 

Misery  certainly  loves  company.  I  was  ex- 
tremely glad  to  see  him,  though  I  knew  from  his 
appearance,  that  his  situation  was  as  deplorable  as 
mine,  and  that  he  could  afford  me  no  kind  of 
assistance.  In  the  afternoon  the  Indians  killed  a 
deer,  which  they  dressed,  and  then  roasted  it 
whole;  which  made  them  a  full  meal.  We  were 
each  allowed  a  share  of  their  venison,  and  some 
bread,  so  that  we  made  a  good  meal  also. 

Having  spent  three  nights  and  two  days  at  that 
place,  and  the  storm  having  ceased,  early  in  the 
morning  27  the  whole  company,  consisting  of  twelve 
Indians,  four  Frenchmen,  the  young  man,  the 
little  boy  and  myself,  moved  on  at  a  moderate 
pace  without  an  Indian  behind  us  to  deceive  our 

In  the  afternoon  we  came  in  sight  of  Fort  Pitt 
(as  it  is  now  called),  where  we  were  halted  while 
the  Indians  performed  some  customs  28  upon  their 
prisoners  which  they  deemed  necessary.  That 
fort  was  then  occupied  by  the  French  and  Indians, 
and  was  called  Fort  Du  Quesne.  It  stood  at  the 
junction  of  the  Monongahela,  which  is  said  to 
signify,  in  some  of  the  Indian  languages,  the 
Falling-in-Banks,*  and  the  Alleghany  t  rivers, 

*  Navigator.29 

fThe  word  Alleghenny,  was  derived  from  an  ancient 
race  of  Indians  called  "Tallegawe."30  The  Delaware  In- 
dians, instead  of  saying  "Alleghenny,"  say  "Allegawe," 
or  "Allegawenink."  Western  Tour — p.  4SS-31 



Who»was  taken  by  a  party  of  French  and  Indians  at  Marsh  Creek,  in  Pennsyl- 
vania, in  the  year  1755,  and  carried  down  the  Ohio  River  when  only  12  years  of 
age,  and  who  continued  to  reside  with  the  Indians  and  follow  their  manner  of  liv- 
ing 78  years,  until  the  time  of  her  death,  which  took  place  at  the  SENECA  RKSKK- 
VATI'OK,  near  Buffalo,  N.  Y.  in  1833  at  the  advanced  age  of  90  years. 


An  account  of  the  Murder  of  her  Father's  Family,  who  were  taken  captive?  at 
the  same  time  with  herself,  but  who  were  Tomahawked  and  Scalped  the  second 
nighl  of  their  captivity;  her  Marriage  to  two  Indian  Chiefs,  with  whom  she 
lived  many  years,  and  both  of  whom  she  followed  to  the  grave 


An  account  of  her  conversion  to  the  Christian  Religion  a  few  months  before  her 
death: — H*r  ideas  of  the  Christian  Religion  and  views  of  herself  previous  to 
her  cqfersion,  as  related  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  WRIGHT,  Minister  at  the  Seneca 
Reservation,  where  she  died. 





(Actual  size) 


where  the  Ohio  river  begins  to  take  its  name.     The 
word  O-hi-o,  signifies  bloody.32 

At  the  place  where  we  halted,  the  Indians 
combed  the  hair  of  the  young  man,  the  boy  and 
myself,  and  then  painted  our  faces  and  hair  redr 
in  the  finest  Indian  style.  We  were  then  conduct- 
ed into  the  fort,  where  we  received  a  little  bread, 
and  were  then  shut  up  and  left  to  tarry  alone 
through  the  night.33 


She  is  given  to  two  Squaws. — Her  Journey  down  the 
Ohio. — Passes  a  Shawanee  town  where  white  men 
had  just  been  burnt. — Arrives  at  the  Seneca  town. — 
Her  Reception. — She  is  adopted. — Ceremony  o£ 
Adoption. — Indian  Custom. — Address. — She  receives 
a  new  name. — Her  Employment. — Retains  her  own 
and  learns  the  Seneca  Language. — Situation  of  the 
Town,  &c. — Indians  go  on  a  Hunting  Tour  to  Sci- 
ota  and  take  her  with  them. — Returns. — She  is  taken 
to  Fort  Pitt,  and  then  hurried  back  by  her  Indian 
Sisters. — Her  hopes  of  Liberty  destroyed. — Second 
Tour  to  Sciota. — Return  to  Wiishto,  &c. — Arrival 
of  Prisoners. — Priscilla  Ramsay. — Her  Chain. — 
Mary  marries  a  Delaware. — Her  Affection  for  him. — 
Birth  and  Death  of  her  first  Child. — Her  Sickness 
and  Recovery. — Birth  of  Thomas  Jemison. 

THE  night  was  spent  in  gloomy  forebodings. 
What  the  result  of  our  captivity  would  be,  it  was 
out  of  our  power  to  determine  or  even  imagine. — 
At  times  we  could  almost  realize  the  approach  of 

34  LIFE  OF 

our  masters  to  butcher  and  scalp  us; — again  we 
could  nearly  see  the  pile  of  wood  kindled  on  which 
we  were  to  be  roasted;  and  then  we  would  imagine 
ourselves  at  liberty;  alone  and  defenceless  in  the 
forest,  surrounded  by  wild  beasts  that  were  ready 
to  devour  us.  The  anxiety  of  our  minds  drove 
sleep  from  our  eyelids;  and  it  was  with  a  dreadful 
hope  and  painful  impatience  that  we  waited  for 
the  morning  to  determine  our  fate. 

The  morning  34  at  length  arrived,  and  our  masters 
came  early  and  let  us  out  of  the  house,  and  gave 
the  young  man  and  boy  to  the  French,  who  imme- 
diately took  them  away.  Their  fate  I  never 
learned;  as  I  have  not  seen  nor  heard  of  them 

I  was  now  left  alone  in  the  fort,  deprived  of  my 
former  companions,  and  of  everything  that  was 
near  or  dear  to  me  but  life.  But  it  was  not  long 
before  I  was  in  some  measure  relieved  by  the 
appearance  of  two  pleasant  looking  squaws  of  the 
Seneca  tribe,35  who  came  and  examined  me  atten- 
tively for  a  short  time,  and  then  went  out.  After  a 
few  minutes  absence  they  returned  with  my  former 
masters,  who  gave  me  to  them  to  dispose  of  as  they 

The  Indians  by  whom  I  was  taken  were  a  party 
of  Shawanees,36  if  I  remember  right,  that  lived,  when 
at  home,  a  long  distance  down  the  Ohio. 

My  former  Indian  masters,  and  the  two  squaws, 
were  soon  ready  to  leave  the  fort,  and  accordingly 
embarked;  the  Indians  in  a  large  canoe,  and  the 
two  squaws  and  myself  in  a  small  one,  and  went 
down  the  Ohio. 

When  we  set  off,  an  Indian  in  the  forward  canoe 


took  the  scalps  of  my  former  friends,  strung  them 
on  a  pole  that  he  placed  upon  his  shoulder,  and  in 
that  manner  carried  them,  standing  in  the  stern  of 
the  canoe,  directly  before  us  as  we  sailed  down  the 
river,  to  the  town  where  the  two  squaws  resided. 

On  our  way  we  passed  a  Shawanee  town,37  where 
I  saw  a  number  of  heads,  arms,  legs,  and  other 
fragments  of  the  bodies  of  some  white  people  who 
had  just  been  burnt.  The  parts  that  remained 
were  hanging  on  a  pole  which  was  supported  at 
each  end  by  a  crotch  stuck  in  the  ground,  and 
were  roasted  or  burnt  black  as  a  coal.  The  fire 
was  yet  burning;  and  the  whole  appearances  af- 
forded a  spectacle  so  shocking,  that,  even  to  this 
day,  my  blood  almost  curdles  in  my  veins  when  I 
think  of  them! 

At  night  we  arrived  at  a  small  Seneca  Indian 
town,  at  the  mouth  of  a  small  river,  that  was  called 
by  the  Indians,  in  the  Seneca  language,  She-nan- 
jee,*  where  the  two  Squaws  38  to  whom  I  belonged 
resided.  There  we  landed,  and  the  Indians  went 
on;  which  was  the  last  I  ever  saw  of  them. 

Having  made  fast  to  the  shore,  the  Squaws  left 
me  in  the  canoe  while  they  went  to  their  wigwam 
or  house  in  the  town,  and  returned  with  a  suit  of 
Indian  clothing,  all  new,  and  very  clean  and  nice. 
My  clothes,  though  whole  and  good  when  I  was 

*That  town,  according  to  the  geographical  description 
given  by  Mrs.  Jemison,  must  have  stood  at  the  mouth  of 
Indian  Cross  creek,  which  is  about  76  miles  by  water, 
below  Pittsburgh;  or  at  the  mouth  of  Indian  Short  creek, 
87  miles  below  Pittsburgh,  where  the  town  of  Warren  now 
stands.  But  at  which  of  those  places  I  am  unable  to  deter- 
mine.39 Author. 

36  LIFE  OF 

taken,  were  now  torn  in  pieces,  so  that  I  was 
almost  naked.  They  first  undressed  me  and 
threw  my  rags  into  the  river;  then  washed  me 
clean  and  dressed  me  in  the  new  suit  they  had  just 
brought,  in  complete  Indian  style; 40  and  then  led 
me  home  and  seated  me  in  the  center  of  their 

I  had  been  in  that  situation  but  a  few  minutes, 
before  all  the  Squaws  in  the  town  came  in  to  see 
me.  I  was  soon  surrounded  by  them,  and  they 
immediately  set  up  a  most  dismal  howling,  crying 
bitterly,  and  wringing  their  hands  in  all  the  ago- 

j  nies  of  grief  for  a  deceased  relative. 

Their  tears  flowed  freely,  and  they  exhibited  all 
the  signs  of  real  mourning.  At  the  commence- 
ment of  this  scene,  one  of  their  number  began,  in 
a  voice  somewhat  between  speaking  and  singing, 
to  recite  some  words  to  the  following  purport,  and 
continued  the  recitation  till  the  ceremony  was  end- 
ed; the  company  at  the  same  time  varying  the 
appearance  of  their  countenances,  gestures  and 
tone  of  voice,  so  as  to  correspond  with  the  senti- 
ments expressed  by  their  leader: 

"Oh  our  brother!  Alas!  He  is  dead — he  has 
gone;  he  will  never  return!  Friendless  he  died 
on  the  field  of  the  slain,  where  his  bones  are  yet 
lying  unburied!  Oh,  who  will  not  mourn  his  sad 
fate?  No  tears  dropped  around  him;  oh,  no! 

/  No  tears  of  his  sisters  were  there!  He  fell  in  his 
prime,  when  his  arm  was  most  needed  to  keep  us 
from  danger!  Alas!  he  has  gone!  and  left  us  in 
sorrow,  his  loss  to  bewail:  Oh  where  is  his  spirit? 
His  spirit  went  naked,  and  hungry  it  wanders,  and 
thirsty  and  wounded  it  groans  to  return!  Oh  help- 


less  and  wretched,  our  brother  has  gone!  No 
blanket  nor  food  to  nourish  and  warm  him;  nor 
candles  to  light  him,  nor  weapons  of  war: — Oh, 
none  of  those  comforts  had  he!  But  well  we 
remember  his  deeds! — The  deer  he  could  take  on 
the  chase!  The  panther  shrunk  back  at  the  sight 
of  his  strength!  His  enemies  fell  at  his  feet!  He 
was  brave  and  courageous  in  war!  As  the  fawn 
he  was  harmless:  his  friendship  was  ardent:  his 
temper  was  gentle:  his  pity  was  great!  Oh! 
our  friend,  our  companion  is  dead!  Our  brother, 
our  brother,  alas!  he  is  gone!  But  why  do  we 
grieve  for  his  loss?  In  the  strength  of  a  warrior, 
undaunted  he  left  us,  to  fight  by  the  side  of  the 
Chiefs!  His  war-whoop  was  shrill!  His  rifle  well 
aimed  laid  his  enemies  low:  his  tomahawk  drank 
of  their  blood:  and  his  knife  flayed  their  scalps 
while  yet  covered  with  gore!  And  why  do  we 
mourn?  Though  he  fell  on  the  field  of  the  slain, 
with  glory  he  fell,  and  his  spirit  went  up  to  the 
land  of  his  fathers  in  war!  Then  why  do  we 
mourn?  With  transports  of  joy  they  received 
him,  and  fed  him,  and  clothed  him,  and  wel- 
comed him  there!  Oh  friends,  he  is  happy;  then 
dry  up  your  tears!  His  spirit  has  seen  our  distress, 
and  sent  us  a  helper  whom  with  pleasure  we 
greet.  Dickewamis  41  has  come:  then  let  us  receive 
her  with  joy!  She  is  handsome  and  pleasant! 
Oh!  she  is  our  sister,  and  gladly  we  welcome 
her  here.  In  the  place  of  our  brother  she  stands 
in  our  tribe.  With  care  we  will  guard  her  from 
trouble;  and  may  she  be  happy  till  her  spirit  shall 
leave  us." 

In  the  course  of  that  ceremony,  from  mourning 

3  8  LIFE  OF 

they  became  serene — joy  sparkled  in  their  coun- 
tenances, and  they  seemed  to  rejoice  over  me  as 
over  a  long  lost  child.  I  was  made  welcome 
amongst  them  as  a  sister  to  the  two  Squaws  before 
mentioned,  and  was  called  Dickewamis;  which 
being  interpreted,  signifies  a  pretty  girl,  a  hand- 
some girl,  or  a  pleasant,  good  thing.  That  is  the 
name  by  which  I  have  ever  since  been  called  by 
the  Indians. 

I    afterwards    learned    that    the    ceremony    I    at 

f'lat  time  passed  through,  was  that  of  adoption, 
he  two  squaws  had  lost  a  brother  in  Wash- 
«.gton's  war,42  sometime  in  the  year  before,  and 
in  consequence  of  his  death  went  up  to  Fort  Pitt, 
on  the  day  on  which  I  arrived  there,  in  order  to 
receive  a  prisoner  or  an  enemy's  scalp,  to  supply 
their  loss. 

It  is  a  custom  of  the  Indians,  when  one  of  their 
number  is  slain  or  taken  prisoner  in  battle,  to  give 
to  the  nearest  relative  to  the  dead  or  absent,  a  pris- 
oner, if  they  have  chanced  to  take  one,  and  if  not, 
to  give  him  the  scalp  of  an  enemy.  On  the  return 
of  the  Indians  from  conquest,  which  is  always 
announced  by  peculiar  shoutings,  demonstrations 
of  joy,  and  the  exhibition  of  some  trophy  of  victory, 
the  mourners  come  forward  and  make  their  claims. 
If  they  receive  a  prisoner,  it  is  at  their  option  either 
to  satiate  their  vengeance  by  taking  his  life  in  the 
most  cruel  manner  they  can  conceive  of;  or,  to 
receive  and  adopt  him  into  the  family,  in  the  place 
of  him  whom  they  have  lost.  All  the  prisoners 
that  are  taken  in  battle  and  carried  to  the  encamp- 
ment or  town  by  the  Indians,  are  given  to  the 
bereaved  families,  till  their  number  is  made  good. 


And  unless  the  mourners  have  but  just  received 
the  news  of  their  bereavement,  and  are  under  the 
operation  of  a  paroxysm  of  grief,  anger  and  re- 
venge; or,  unless  the  prisoner  is  very  old,  sickly, 
or  homely,  they  generally  save  him,  and  treat  him 
kindly.  But  if  their  mental  wound  is  fresh,  their 
loss  so  great  that  they  deem  it  irreparable,  or  if 
their  prisoner  or  prisoners  do  not  meet  their  appro- 
bation, no  torture,  let  it  be  ever  so  cruel,  seems 
sufficient  to  make  them  satisfaction.  It  is  family,43 
and  not  national,  sacrifices  amongst  the  Indians, 
that  has  given  them  an  indelible  stamp  as  barbari- 
ans, and  identified  their  character  with  the  idea 
which  is  generally  formed  of  unfeeling  ferocity, 
and  the  most  abandoned  cruelty. 

It  was  my  happy  lot  to  be  accepted  for  adoption; 
and  at  the  time  of  the  ceremony  I  was  received  by 
the  two  squaws,  to  supply  the  place  of  their  brother 
in  the  family;  and  I  was  ever  considered  and  treat- 
ed by  them  as  a  real  sister,  the  same  as  though  I 
had  been  born  of  their  mother. 

During  my  adoption,  I  sat  motionless,  nearly 
terrified  to  death  at  the  appearance  and  actions  of 
the  company,  expecting  every  moment  to  feel  their 
vengeance,  and  suffer  death  on  the  spot.  I  was, 
however,  happily  disappointed,  when  at  the  close 
of  the  ceremony  the  company  retired,  and  my 
sisters  went  about  employing  every  means  for  my 
consolation  and  comfort.44 

Being  now  settled  and  provided  with  a  home,  I 
was  employed  in  nursing  the  children,  and_dping 
light  work  about  the  house.  Occasionally  I  was 
sent  out  with  the  Indian  hunters,  when  they  went 
but  a  short  distance,  to  help  them  carry  their  game. 

40  LIFE  OF 

My  situation  was  easy;  I  had  no  particular  hard- 
ships to  endure.  But  still,  the  recollection  of  my 
parents,  my  brothers  and  sisters,  my  home,  and 
my  own  captivity,  destroyed  my  happiness,  and 
made  me  constantly  solitary,  lonesome  and  gloomy. 

My  sisters  would  not  allow  me  to  speak  English 
in  their  hearing;  but  remembering  the  charge  that 
my  dear  mother  gave  me  at  the  time  I  left  her, 
whenever  I  chanced  to  be  alone  I  made  a  business 
of  repeating  my  prayer,  catechism,  or  something  I 
had  learned  in  order  that  I  might  not  forget  my 
own  language.  By  practising  in  that  way  I  retain- 
ed it  till  I  came  to  Genesee  flats,  where  I  soon 
became  acquainted  with  English  people  with  whom 
I  have  been  almost  daily  in  the  habit  of  conversing. 

My  sisters  were  diligent  in  teaching  me  their 
language;  and  to  their  great  satisfaction  I  soon 
learned  so  that  I  could  understand  it  readily,  and 
speak  it  fluently.  I  was  very  fortunate  in  falling 
into  their  hands;  for  they  were  kind  good  natured 
women;  peaceable  and  mild  in  their  dispositions; 
temperate  and  decent  in  their  habits,  and  very  ten- 
der and  gentle  towards  me.  I  have  great  reason 
to  respect  them,  though  they  have  been  dead  a 
great  number  of  years. 

The  town  where  they  lived  was  pleasantly  situat- 
ed on  the  Ohio,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Shenanjee: 
the  land  produced  good  corn;  the  woods  furnished 
a  plenty  of  game,  and  the  waters  abounded  with 
fish.  Another  river  emptied  itself  into  the  Ohio, 
directly  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  Shenanjee. 
We  spent  the  summer  at  that  place,  where  we 
planted,  hoed,  and  harvested  a  large  crop  of  corn, 
of  an  excellent  quality. 


About  the  time  of  corn  harvest,  Fort  Pitt  was 
taken  from  the  French  by  the  English.* 

The  corn  being  harvested,  the  Indians  took  it  on 
horses  and  in  canoes,  and  proceeded  down  the 
Ohio,  occasionally  stopping  to  hunt  a  few  days,  till 
we  arrived  at  the  mouth  of  Sciota  river;45  where 
they  established  their  winter  quarters,  and  contin- 
ued hunting  till  the  ensuing  spring,  in  the  adjacent 
wilderness.  While  at  that  place  I  went  with  the 
other  children  to  assist  the  hunters  to  bring  in  their 
game.  The  forests  on  the  Sciota  46  were  well  stocked 
with  elk,  deer,  and  other  large  animals;  and  the 
marshes  contained  large  numbers  of  beaver,  musk- 
rat,  &c.  which  made  excellent  hunting  for  the  In- 
dians; who  depended,  for  their  meat,  upon  their 
success  in  taking  elk  and  deer;  and  for  ammunition 
and  clothing,  upon  the  beaver,  muskrat,  and  other 
furs  that  they  could  take  in  addition  to  their  peltry. 

The  season  for  hunting  being  passed,  we  all 
returned  in  the  spring  47  to  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Shenanjee,  to  the  houses  and  fields  we  had  left  in 
the  fall  before.  There  we  again  planted  our  corn, 
squashes,  and  beans,  on  the  fields  that  we  occupied 
the  preceding  summer. 

*The  above  statement  is  apparently  an  error;  and  is  to 
be  attributed  solely  to  the  treachery  of  the  old  lady's  memo- 
ry; though  she  is  confident  that  that  event  took  place  at 
the  time  above  mentioned.  It  is  certain  that  Fort  Pitt  was 
not  evacuated  by  the  French  and  given  up  to  the  English, 
till  sometime  in  November,  1758.  It  is  possible,  however, 
that  an  armistice  was  agreed  upon,  and  that  for  a  time,  be- 
tween the  spring  of  1755  and  1758,  both  nations  visited  that 
post  without  fear  of  molestation.  As  the  succeeding  part  of 
the  narrative  corresponds  with  the  true  historical  chain  of 
events,  the  public  will  overlook  this  circumstance,  which 
appears  unsupported  by  history.48  AUTHOR. 

4  D  2 

42  LIFE  OF 

About  planting  time,  our  Indians  all  went  up  to 
Fort  Pitt,  to  make  peace  with  the  British,  and  took 
me  with  them.*  We  landed  on  the  opposite  side 
of  the  river  from  the  fort,  and  encamped  for  the 
night.  Early  the  next  morning  the  Indians  took 
me  over  to  the  fort  to  see  the  white  people  that 
were  there.  It  was  then  that  my  heart  bounded  to 
be  liberated  from  the  Indians  and  to  be  restored  to 
my  friends  and  my  country.  The  white  people 
were  surprized  to  see  me  with  the  Indians,  enduring 
the  hardships  of  a  savage  life,  at  so  early  an  age, 
and  with  so  delicate  a  constitution  as  I  appeared  to 
possess.  They  asked  me  my  name;  where  and 
when  I  was  taken — and  appeared  very  much  inter- 
ested on  my  behalf.  They  were  continuing  their 
inquiries,  when  my  sisters  became  alarmed,  believ- 
ing that  I  should  be  taken  from  them,  hurried  me 
into  their  canoe  and  recrossed  the  river — took  their 
bread  out  of  the  fire  and  fled  with  me,  without 
stopping,  till  they  arrived  at  the  river  Shenanjee. 
So  great  was  their  fear  of  losing  me,  or  of  my  being 
given  up  in  the  treaty,  that  they  never  once  stopped 
rowing  till  they  got  home. 

Shortly  after  we  left  the  shore  opposite  the  fort, 
as  I  was  informed  by  one  of  rrfy  Indian  brothers, 
the  white  people  came  over  to  take  me  back;  but 
after  considerable  inquiry,  and  having  made  dili- 
gent search  to  find  where  I  was  hid,  they  returned 
with  heavy  hearts.  Although  I  had  then  been 

*  History  is  silent  as  to  any  treaty  having  been  made  be- 
tween the  English,  and  French  and  Indians,  at  that  time; 
though  it  is  possible  that  a  truce  was  agreed  upon,  and  that 
the  parties  met  for  the  purpose  of  concluding  a  treaty  of 


with  the  Indians  something  over  a  year,  and  had 
become  considerably  habituated  to  their  mode  of 
living,  and  attached  to  my  sisters,  the  sight  of  white 
people  who  could  speak  English  inspired  me  with 
an  unspeakable  anxiety  to  go  home  with  them,  and 
share  in  the  blessings  of  civilization.  My  sudden 
departure  and  escape  from  them,  seemed  like  a 
second  captivity,  and  for  a  long  time  I  brooded  the 
thoughts  of  my  miserable  situation  with  almost  as 
much  sorrow  and  dejection  as  I  had  done  those  of 
my  first  sufferings.  Time,  the  destroyer  of  every 
affection,  wore  away  my  unpleasant  feelings,  and  I 
became  as  contented  as  before. 

We  tended  our  cornfields  through  the  summer; 
and  after  we  had  harvested  the  crop,  we  again  went 
down  the  river  to  the  hunting  ground  on  the  Sciota, 
where  we  spent  the  winter,50  as  we  had  done  the 
winter  before. 

Early  in  the  spring  we  sailed  up  the  Ohio  river, 
to  a  place  that  the  Indians  called  Wiishto,*  where 
one  river  emptied  into  the  Ohio  on  one  side,  and 
another  on  the  other.  At  that  place  the  Indians 
built  a  town,  and  we  planted  corn. 

We  lived  three  summers  at  Wiishto,  and  spent 
each  winter  on  the  Sciota. 

The  first  summer  of  our  living  at  Wiishto,  a 
party  of  Delaware  Indians  came  up  the  river,  took 
up  their  residence,  and  lived  in  common  with  us. 
They  brought  five  white  prisoners  with  them,  who 
by  their  conversation,  made  my  situation  much 

*  Wiishto  I  suppose  was  situated  near  the  mouth  of 
Indian  Guyundat,  327  miles  below  Pittsburgh,  and  73  above 
Big  Sciota;  or  at  the  mouth  of  Swan  creek,  307  miles  below 

44  LIFE  OF 

more  agreeable,  as  they  could  all  speak  English. 
I  have  forgotten  the  names  of  all  of  them  except 
one,  which  was  Priscilla  Ramsay.  She  was  a  very 
handsome,  good  natured  girl,  and  was  married  soon 
after  she  came  to  Wiishto  to  Capt.  Little  Billy's 
uncle,52  who  went  with  her  on  a  visit  to  her  friends 
in  the  states.63  Having  tarried  with  them  as  long  as 
she  wished  to,  she  returned  with  her  husband  to 
Can-a-ah-tua,  where  he  died.  She,  after  his  death, 
married  a  white  man  by  the  name  of  Nettles,  and 
now  lives  with  him  (if  she  is  living)  on  Grand  Riv- 
er, Upper  Canada. 

Not  long  after  the  Delawares  came  to  live  with 
us,  at  Wiishto,  my  sisters  told  me  that  I  must  go 
and  live  with  one  of  them,54  whose  name  was  She- 
nin-jee.  Not  daring  to  cross  them,  or  disobey  their 
commands,  with  a  great  degree  of  reluctance  I 
went;  and  Sheninjee  and  I  were  married  55  according 
to  Indian  custom.56*  57 

Sheninjee  was  a  noble  man;  large  in  stature; 
elegant  in  his  appearance;  generous  in  his  conduct; 
courageous  in  war;  a  friend  to  peace,  and  a  great 
lover  of  justice.  He  supported  a  degree  of  dignity 
far  above  his  rank,  and  merited  and  received  the 
confidence  and  friendship  of  all  the  tribes  with 
whom  he  was  acquainted.  Yet,  Sheninjee  was  an 
Indian.  The  idea  of  spending  my  days  with  him, 
at  first  seemed  perfectly  irreconcilable  to  my  feel- 
ings: but  his  good  nature,  generosity,  tenderness, 
and  friendship  towards  me,  soon  gained  my  affec- 
tion; and,  strange  as  it  may  seem,  I  loved  him! — 
To  me  he  was  ever  kind  in  sickness,  and  always 
treated  me  with  gentleness;  in  fact,  he  was  an 
agreeable  husband,  and  a  comfortable  companion. 


f  We  lived  happily  together  till  the  time  of  our  final 
separation,  which  happened  two  or  three  years  after 
our  marriage,  as  I  shall  presently  relate. 

In  the  second  summer  of  my  living  at  Wiishto, 
I  had  a  child  58  at  the  time  that  the  kernels  of  corn 
first  appeared  on  the  cob.  When  I  was  taken  sick, 
Sheninjee  was  absent,  and  I  was  sent  to  a  small 
shed,  on  the  bank  of  the  river,  which  was  made  of 
boughs,  where  I  was  obliged  to  stay  till  my  husband 
returned.  My  two  sisters,  who  were  my  only  com- 
panions, attended  me,  and  on  the  second  day  of 
my  confinement  my  child  was  born;  but  it  lived 
only  two  days.  It  was  a  girl:  and  notwithstanding 
the  shortness  of  the  time  that  I  possessed  it,  it  was 
a  great  grief  to  me  to  lose  it. 

After  the  birth  of  my  child,  I  was  very  sick,  but 
was  not  allowed  to  go  into  the  house  for  two  weeks;59 
when,  to  my  great  joy,  Sheninjee  returned,  and  I 
was  taken  in  and  as  comfortably  provided  for  as 
our  situation  would  admit  of.  My  disease  contin- 
ued to  increase  for  a  number  of  days;  and  I  became 
so  far  reduced  that  my  recovery  was  despaired  of 
by  my  friends,  and  I  concluded  that  my  troubles 
would  soon  be  finished.  At  length,  however,  my 
complaint  took  a  favorable  turn,  and  by  the  time 
that  the  corn  was  ri'pe  I  was  able  to  get  about.  I 
continued  to  gain  my  health,  and  in  the  fall  was 
able  to  go  to  our  winter  quarters,  on  the  Sciota, 
with  the  Indians.60 

From  that  time,  nothing  remarkable  occurred  to 
me  till  the  fourth  winter  of  my  captivity,  when  I 
had  a  son  born,  while  I  was  at  Sciota:  I  had  a 
quick  recovery,  and  my  child  was  healthy.  To 
commemorate  the  name  of  my  much  lamented 
father,  I  called  my  son  Thomas  Jemison. 

46  LIFE  OF 


She  leaves  Wiishto  for  Fort  Pitt,  in  company  with  her 
Husband. — Her  feelings  on  setting  out. — Contrast 
between  the  labor  of  the  white  and  Indian  Women. — 
Deficiency  of  Arts  amongst  the  Indians. — Their  for- 
mer Happiness. — Baneful  effects  of  Civilization, 
and  the  introduction  of  ardent  Spirits  amongst  them, 
&c. — Journey  up  the  River. — Murder  of  three  Trad- 
ers by  the  Shawnees. — Her  Husband  stops  at  a 
Trading  House. — Wantonness  of  the  Shawnees. — 
Moves  up  the  Sandusky. — Meets  her  Brother  from 
Ge-nish-a-u. — Her  Husband  goes  to  Wiishto,  and 
she  sets  out  for  Genishau  in  company  with  her  Bro- 
thers.— They  arrive  at  Sandusky.— Occurrences  at 
that  place. — Her  Journey  to  Genishau,  and  Recep- 
tion by  her  Mother  and  Friends. 

IN  the  spring,  when  Thomas  was  three  or  four 
moons  [months]  old,  we  returned  from  Sciota  to 
Wiishto,61  and  soon  after  set  out  to  go  to  Fort  Pitt, 
to  dispose  of  our  fur  and  skins,  that  we  had  taken 
in  the  winter,  and  procure  some  necessary  articles 
for  the  use  of  our  family. 

I  had  then  been  with  the  Indians  four  summers 
and  four  winters,  and  had  become  so  far  accustom- 
ed to  their  mode  of  living,  habits  and  dispositions, 
that  my  anxiety  to  get  away,  to  be  set  at  liberty, 
and  leave  them,  had  almost  subsided.  With  them 
was  my  home;  my  family  was  there,  and  there  I 
had  many  friends  to  whom  I  was  warmly  attached 
in  consideration  of  the  favors,  affection  and  friend- 
ship with  which  they  had  uniformly  treated  me,  from 
the  time  of  my  adoption.  Our  labor  was  not  severe; 
and  that  of  one  year  was  exactly  similar,  in  almost 


every  respect,  to  that  of  the  others,  without  that 
endless  variety  that  is  to  be  observed  in  the  com- 
mon labor  of  the  white  people.  Notwithstanding 
the  Indian  women  have  all  the  fuel  and  bread  to 
procure,  and  the  cooking  to  perform,  their  task  is 
probably  not  harder  than  that  of  white  women, 
who  have  those  articles  provided  for  them;  and 
their  cares  certainly  are  not  half  as  numerous,  nor  / 
as  great.  In  the  summer  season,  we  planted,  \ 
tended  and  harvested  our  corn,  and  generally  had 
all  our  children  with  us;  but  had  no  master  to 
oversee  or  drive  us,  so  that  we  could  work  as  leis- 
urely as  we  pleased.  We  had  no  ploughs  on  the 
Ohio;  but  performed  the  whole  process  of  plant- 
ing and  hoeing  with  a  small  tool  that  resembled, 
in  some  respects,  a  hoe  with  a  very  short  handle. 

Our  cooking  consisted  in  pounding  our  corn  into 
samp  or  hommany,62  boiling  the  hommany,  making 
now  and  then  a  cake  and  baking  it  in  the  ashes,  and 
in  boiling  or  roasting  our  venison.  As  our  cooking 
and  eating  utensils  consisted  of  a  hommany  block 
and  pestle,  a  small  kettle,  a  knife  or  two,  and  a 
few  vessels  of  bark  or  wood,  it  required  but  little 
time  to  keep  them  in  order  for  use. 

Spinning,  weaving,  sewing,  stocking  knitting, 
and  the  like,  are  arts  which  have  never  been  prac- 
tised in  the  Indian  tribes  generally.  After  the  re- 
volutionary war,  I  learned  to  sew,  so  that  I  could 
make  my  own  clothing  after  a  poor  fashion;  but 
f  the  other  domestic  arts  I  have  been  wholly  igno- 
rant of  the  application  of,  since  my  captivity.  In 
the  season  of  hunting,  it  was  our  business,  in  ad- 
dition to  our  cooking,  to  bring  home  the  game 
that  was  taken  by  the  Indians,  dress  it,  and  care- 


48  LIFE  OF 

fully  preserve  the  eatable  meat,  and  prepare  or 
dress  the  skins.  Our  clothing  was  fastened  together 
with  strings  of  deer  skin,  and  tied  on  with  the 

In  that  manner  we  lived,  without  any  of  those 
jealousies,  quarrels,  and  revengeful  battles  between 
families  and  individuals,  which  have  been  com- 
mon in  the  Indian  tribes  since  the  introduction  of 
ardent  spirits  amongst  them. 

The  use  of  ardent  spirits  amongst  the  Indians, 
and  the  attempts  which  have  been  made  to  civilize 
and  christianize  them  by  the  white  people,  has 
constantly  made  them  worse  and  worse;  in- 
creased their  vices,  and  robbed  them  of  many  of 
their  virtues;  and  will  ultimately  produce  their 
extermination.  I  have  seen,  in  a  number  of  in- 
stances, the  effects  of  education  upon  some  of  our 
Indians,  who  were  taken  when  young,  from 
their  families,  and  placed  at  school  before  they 
had  had  an  opportunity  to  contract  many  Indian 
habits,  and  there  kept  till  they  arrived  to  manhood; 
but  I  have  never  seen  one  of  those  but  what  wac  an 
Indian  in  every  respect  after  he  returned.  Indians 
must  and  will  be  Indians,63  in  spite  of  all  the  means 
that  can  be  used  for  their  cultivation  in  the  scien- 
ces and  arts. 

One  thing  only  marred  my  happiness,  while  I 
lived  with  them  on  the  Ohio;  and  that  was  the 
recollection  that  I  had  onre  had  tender  parents, 
and  a  home  that  I  loved.  Aside  from  that  consid- 
eration, or,  if  I  had  been  taken  in  infancy,  I 
should  have  been  contented  in  my  situation.  Not- 
withstanding all  that  has  been  said  against  the  In- 
dians, in  consequence  of  their  cruelties  to  their 


enemies — cruelties  that  I  have  witnessed,  and  had 
abundant  proof  of — it  is  a  fact  that  they  are  na- 
turally kind,  tender  and  peaceable  towards  their 
friends,  and  strictly  honest;64  and  that  those  cruel- 
ties have  been  practised,  only  upon  their  enemies, 
according  to  their  idea  of  justice. 

At  the  time  we  left  Wiishto,65  it  was  impossible 
for  me  to  suppress  a  sigh  of  regret  on  parting  with 
those  who  had  truly  been  my  friends — with  those 
whom  I  had  every  reason  to  respect.  On  account 
of  a  part  of  our  family  living  at  Genishau,  we 
thought  it  doubtful  whether  we  should  return  di- 
rectly from  Pittsburgh,  or  go  from  thence  on  a 
visit  to  see  them. 

Our  company  consisted  of  my  husband,  my 
two  Indian  brothers,  my  little  son  and  myself. 
We  embarked  in  a  canoe  that  was  large  enough  to 
contain  ourselves  and  our  effects,  and  proceeded 
on  our  voyage  up  the  river. 

Nothing  remarkable  occurred  to  us  on  our  way, 
till  we  arrived  at  the  mouth  of  a  creek  which  She- 
ninjee  and  my  brothers  said  was  the  outlet  of  San- 
dusky  lake;66  where,  as  they  said,  two  or  three 
English  traders  in  fur  and  skins  had  kept  a  trading 
house  but  a  short  time  before,  though  they  were 
then  absent.  We  had  passed  the  trading  house 
but  a  short  distance,  when  we  met  three  white 
men  floating  down  the  river,67  with  the  appearance 
of  having  been  recently  murdered  by  the  Indians. 
We  supposed  them  to  be  the  bodies  of  the  traders, 
whose  store  we  had  passed  the  same  day.  Shenin- 
jee  being  alarmed  for  fear  of  being  apprehended  as 
one  of  the  murderers,  if  he  should  go  on,  resolved 
to  out  about  immediately,  and  we  accordingly  re- 


50  LIFE  OF 

turned  to  where  the  traders  had  lived,  and  there 

At  the  trading  house  we  found  a  party  of  Shaw- 
nee  Indians,  who  had  taken  a  young  white  man 
prisoner,  and  had  just  begun  to  torture  him  for  the 
sole  purpose  of  gratifying  their  curiosity  in  exult- 
ing at  his  distress.  They  at  first  made  him  stand 
up,  while  they  slowly  pared  his  ears  and  split  them 
into  strings;  they  then  made  a  number  of  slight 
incisions  in  his  face;  and  then  bound  him  upon 
the  ground,  rolled  him  in  the  dirt,  and  rubbed  it  in 
his  wounds:  some  of  them  at  the  same  time  whip- 
ping him  with  small  rods!  The  poor  fellow  cried 
for  mercy  and  yelled  most  piteously. 

The  sight  of  his  distress  seemed  too  much  for 
me  to  endure:  I  begged  of  them  to  desist — I  en- 
treated them  with  tears  to  release  him.68  At  length 
they  attended  to  my  intercessions,  and  set  him  at 
liberty.  He  was  shockingly  disfigured,  bled  pro- 
fusely, and  appeared  to  be  in  great  pain:  but  as 
soon  as  he  was  liberated  he  made  off  in  haste,  which 
was  the  last  I  saw  of  him. 

We  soon  learned  that  the  same  party  of  Shaw- 
nees  had,  but  a  few  hours  before,  massacred  the 
three  white  traders  whom  we  saw  in  the  river,  and 
had  plundered  their  store.  We,  however,  were 
not  molested  by  them,  and  after  a  short  stay  at  that 
place,  moved  up  the  creek  about  forty  miles  to  a 
Shawnee  town,  which  the  Indians  called  Gaw- 
gush-shaw-ga,  (which  being  interpreted  signifies  a 
mask  or  a  false  face.)  The  creek  that  we  went 
up  was  called  Candusky. 

It  was  now  summer;  and  having  tarried  a  few 
days  at  Gawgushshawga,69  we  moved  on  up  the 


creek  to  a  place  that  was  called  Yis-kah-wa-na,70 
(meaning  in  English  open  mouth.) 

As  I  have  before  observed,  the  family  to  which 
I  belonged  was  part  of  a  tribe  of  Seneca  Indians, 
who  lived,  at  that  time,  at  a  place  called  Genishau, 
from  the  name  of  the  tribe,  that  was  situated  on  a 
river  of  the  same  name  which  is  now  called  Genesee. 
The  word  Genishau  signifies  a  shining,  clear  or 
open  place.  Those  of  us  who  lived  on  the  Ohio, 
had  frequently  received  invitations  from  those  at 
Genishau,71  by  one  of  my  brothers,  who  usually  went 
and  returned  every  season,  to  come  and  live  with 
them,  and  my  two  sisters  72  had  been  gone  almost 
two  years. 

While  we  were  at  Yiskahwana,  my  brother 
arrived  there  from  Genishau,  and  insisted  so  stren- 
uously upon  our  going  home  (as  he  called  it)  with 
him,  that  my  two  brothers  concluded  to  go,  and  to 
take  me  with  them. 

By  this  time  the  summer  was  gone,  and  the  time 
for  harvesting  corn  had  arrived.  My  brothers,  for 
fear  of  the  rainy  season  setting  in  early,  thought  it 
best  to  set  out  immediately  that  we  might  have 
good  travelling.  Sheninjee  consented  to  have  me 
go  with  my  brothers;  but  concluded  to  go  down 
the  river  himself  with  some  fur  and  skins  which  he 
had  on  hand,  spend  the  winter  in  hunting  with  his 
friends,  and  come  to  me  in  the  spring  following. 

That  was  accordingly  agreed  upon,  and  he  set 
out  for  Wiishto;  and  my  three  brothers  and  my- 
self, with  my  little  son  on  my  back,  at  the  same 
time  set  out  for  Genishau.  We  came  on  to  Upper 
Sandusky,73  to  an  Indian  town  that  we  found  deserted 
by  its  inhabitants,  in  consequence  of  their  having 

52  LIFE  OF 

recently  murdered  some  English  traders,  who  re- 
sided amongst  them.  That  town  was  owned  and 
had  been  occupied  by  Delaware  Indians,  who,  when 
they  left  it,  buried  their  provision  in  the  earth,  in 
order  to  preserve  it  from  their  enemies,  or  to  have 
a  supply  for  themselves  if  they  should  chance  to 
return.  My  brothers  understood  the  customs  of 
the  Indians  when  they  were  obliged  to  fly  from 
their  enemies;  and  suspecting  that  their  corn  at 
least  must  have  been  hid,  made  diligent  search, 
and  at  length  found  a  large  quantity  of  it,  together 
with  beans,  sugar  and  honey,  so  carefully  buried 
that  it  was  completely  dry  and  as  good  as  when 
they  left  it.  As  our  stock  of  provision  was  scanty, 
we  considered  ourselves  extremely  fortunate  in 
finding  so  seasonable  a  supply,  with  so  little  trouble. 
Having  caught  two  or  three  horses,  that  we  found 
there,  and  furnished  ourselves  with  a  good  store  of 
food,  we  travelled  on  till  we  came  to  the  mouth  of 
French  Creek,74  where  we  hunted  two  days,  and 
from  thence  came  on  to  Conowongo  Creek,  where 
we  were  obliged  to  stay  seven  or  ten  days,  in  con- 
sequence of  our  horses  having  left  us  and  straying 
into  the  woods.  The  horses,  however,  were  found, 
and  we  again  prepared  to  resume  our  journey. 
During  our  stay  at  that  place  the  rain  fell  fast,  and 
had  raised  the  creek  to  such  a  height  that  it  was 
seemingly  impossible  for  us  to  cross  it.  A  number 
of  times  we  ventured  in,  but  were  compelled  to 
return,  barely  escaping  with  our  lives.  At  length 
we  succeeded  in  swimming  our  horses  and  reached 
the  opposite  shore;  though  I  but  just  escaped  with 
my  little  boy  from  being  drowned.  From  Sandusky 
the  path  that  we  travelled  was  crooked  and  obscure; 


bat  was  tolerably  well  understood  by  my  oldest 
brother,  who  had  travelled  it  a  number  of  times, 
when  going  to  and  returning  from  the  Cherokee 
wars.  The  fall  by  this  time  was  considerably  ad- 
vanced, and  the  rains,  attended  with  cold  winds, 
continued  daily  to  increase  the  difficulties  of  trav- 
elling. From  Conowongo  we  came  to  a  place, 
called  by  the  Indians  Che-ua-shung-gau-tau,75  and 
from  that  to  U-na-waum-gwa,76  (which  means  an 
eddy,  not  strong,)  where  the  early  frosts  had  de- 
stroyed the  corn  so  that  the  Indians  were  in  danger 
of  starving  for  the  want  of  bread.  Having  rested 
ourselves  two  days  at  that  place,  we  came  on  to 
Caneadea77  and  stayed  one  day,  and  then  continued 
our  march  till  we  arrived  at  Genishau.78  Genishau 
at  that  time  was  a  large  Seneca  town,  thickly  in- 
habited, lying  on  Genesee  79  river,  opposite  what  is 
now  called  the  Free  Ferry,  adjoining  Fall-Brook, 
and  about  south  west  of  the  present  village  of  Gen- 
eseo,  the  county  seat  for  the  county  of  Livingston, 
in  the  state  of  New- York. 

Those  only  who  have  travelled  on  foot  80  the 
distance  of  five  or  six  hundred  miles,  through  an 
almost  pathless  wilderness,  can  form  an  idea  of  the 
fatigue  and  sufferings  that  I  endured  on  that  jour- 
ney. My  clothing  was  thin  and  illy  calculated  to 
defend  me  from  the  continually  drenching  rains 
with  which  I  was  daily  completely  wet,  and  at  night 
with  nothing  but  my  wet  blanket  to  cover  me,  I 
had  to  sleep  on  the  naked  ground,  and  generally 
without  a  shelter,  save  such  as  nature  had  provided. 
In  addition  to  all  that,  I  had  to  carry  my  child, 
then  about  nine  months  old,  every  step  of  the 
journey  on  my  back,81  or  in  my  arms,  and  provide 


54  LIFE  OF 

for  his  comfort  and  prevent  his  suffering,  as  far  as 
my  poverty  of  means  would  admit.  Such  was  the 
fatigue  that  I  sometimes  felt,  that  I  thought  it  im- 
possible for  me  to  go  through,  and  I  would  almost 
abandon  the  idea  of  even  trying  to  proceed-  My 
brothers  were  attentive,  and  at  length,  as  I  have 
stated,  we  reached  our  place  of  destination,  in  good 
health,  and  without  having  experienced  a  day's 
sickness  from  the  time  we  left  Yiskahwana.82 

We  were  kindly  received  by  my  Indian  mother 
and  the  other  members  of  the  family,  who  appear- 
edto  make  me  welcome;  and  my  two  sisters,  whom 
I  had  not  seen  in  two  years,  received  me  with  every 
expression  of  love  and  friendship,  and  that  they 
really  felt  what  they  expressed,  I  have  never  had 
the  least  reason  to  doubt.  The  warmth  of  their 
feelings,  the  kind  reception  which  I  met  with,  and 
the  continued  favors  that  I  received  at  their  hands, 
rivetted  my  affection  for  them  so  strongly  that  I 
am  constrained  to  believe  that  I  loved  them  as  I 
should  have  loved  my  own  sister  had  she  lived,  and 
I  had  been  brought  up  with  her. 


Indians  march  to  Niagara  to  fight  the  British. — Return 
with  two  Prisoners,  &c. — Sacrifice  them  at  Fall- 
Brook. — Her  Indian  Mother's  Address  to  her  Daugh- 
ter.— Death  of  her  Husband. — Bounty  offered  for  the 
Prisoners  taken  in  the  last  war. — John  Van  Sice 
attempts  to  take  her  to  procure  her  Ransom. — Her 
Escape. — Edict  of  the  Chiefs. — Old  King  of  the  tribe 


determines  to  have  her  given  up. — Her  brother  threat- 
ens her  Life. — Her  narrow  Escape. — The  old  King 
goes  off. — Her  brother  is  informed  of  the  place  of  her 
concealment,  and  conducts  her  home. — Marriage  to 
her  second  Husband. — Names  of  her  Children. 

WHEN   we   arrived   at   Genishau,   the   Indians   of 
that    tribe    were    making    active    preparations    for    J 
joining  the  French,  in  order  to  assist  them  in  re- 
taking Fort  Ne-a-gaw  (as  Fort  Niagara  83  was  called 
in  the  Seneca  language)  84  from  the  British,  who  had 
taken  it  from  the  French  in  the  month  preceding. 
They  marched  off  the  next  day  after  our  arrival,85 
painted    and    accoutred    in    all    the    habiliments    of 
Indian   warfare,    determined   on    death   or   victory; 
and  joined  the  army  in  season  to  assist  in  accom- 
plishing a  plan  that  had  been  previously  concerted 
for  the  destruction  of  a  part  of  the  British  army. 
The   British   feeling  themselves   secure   in  the   pos- 
session  of  Fort  Neagaw,   and   unwilling  that  their 
enemies  should  occupy  any  of  the  military  posts  in 
that    quarter,    determined    to   take    Fort   Schlosser, 
lying  a  few  miles  up  the  river  from  Neagaw,  which 
they   expected   to   effect  with   but   little   loss.     Ac- 
cordingly   a    detachment    of    soldiers,     sufficiently 
numerous,  as  was  supposed,  was  sent  out  to  take  it, 
leaving  a  strong  garrison  in  the  fort,  and  marched 
off,   well   prepared  to  effect  their  object.     But  on 
their  way  they  were  surrounded  by  the  French  and 
Indians,  who  lay  in  ambush  to  receive  them,  and 
were  driven  off  the  bank  of  the  river  into  a  place 
called  the  "Devil's  Hole,"  together  with  their  hor- 
ses, carriages,  artillery,  and  every  thing  pertaining 
to    the    army.     Not    a    single    man    escaped    being 
driven  off,  and  of  the  whole  number  one  only  was 

56  LIFE  OF 

fortunate  enough  to  escape  with  his  life.*  Our 
Indians  were  absent  but  a  few  days,  and  returned 
in  triumph,  bringing  with  them  two  white  prisoners, 
and  a  number  of  oxen.  Those  were  the  first  neat 
cattle  86  that  were  ever  brought  to  the  Genesee  flats. 
The  next  day  after  their  return  to  Genishau,  was 
set  apart  as  a  day  of  feasting  and  frolicing,  at  the 
expence  of  the  lives  of  their  two  unfortunate  pris- 
oners, on  whom  they  purposed  to  glut  their  revenge, 
and  satisfy  their  love  for  retaliation  upon  their 
enemies.  My  sister  was  anxious  to  attend  the 
execution,  and  to  take  me  with  her,  to  witness  the 
customs  of  the  warriors,  as  it  was  one  of  the  highest 
kind  of  frolics  ever  celebrated  in  their  tribe,  and 
one  that  was  not  often  attended  with  so  much  pomp 
and  parade  as  it  was  expected  that  would  be.  I 
felt  a  kind  of  anxiety  to  witness  the  scene,  having 
never  attended  an  execution,  and  yet  I  felt  a  kind 
of  horrid  dread  that  made  my  heart  revolt,  and 
inclined  me  to  step  back  rather  than  support  the 
idea  of  advancing.  On  the  morning  of  the  execu- 
tion she  made  her  intention  of  going  to  the  frolic, 
and  taking  me  with  her,  known  to  our  mother,  who 
in  the  most  feeling  terms  remonstrated  against  a 
step  at  once  so  rash  and  unbecoming  the  true  dig- 
nity of  our  sex: 

"How,  my  daughter,  (said  she,  addressing  my 
sister,)  how  can  you  even  think  of  attending  the 
feast  and  seeing  the  unspeakable  torments  that 
those  poor  unfortunate  prisoners  must  inevitably 
suffer  from  the  hands  of  our  warriors?  How  can 
you  stand  and  see  them  writhing  in  the  warriors' 
fire,  in  all  the  agonies  of  a  slow,  a  lingering  death? 
;  *  For  the  particulars  of  that  event,  see  Appendix,  No.  I. 


How  can  you  think  of  enduring  the  sound  of  their 
groanings  and  prayers  to  the  Great  Spirit  for  sud- 
den deliverance  from  their  enemies,  or  from  life? 
And  how  can  you  think  of  conducting  to  that 
melancholy  spot  your  poor  sister  Dickewamis, 
(meaning  myself,)  who  has  so  lately  been  a  prison- 
er, who  has  lost  her  parents  and  brothers  by  the 
hands  of  the  bloody  warriors,  and  who  has  felt  all 
the  horrors  of  the  loss  of  her  freedom,  in  lonesome 
captivity?  Oh!  how  can  you  think  of  making  her 
bleed  at  the  wounds  which  now  are  but  partially 
healed?  The  recollection  of  her  former  troubles 
would  deprive  us  of  Dickewamis,  and  she  would 
depart  to  the  fields  of  the  blessed,  where  fighting 
has  ceased,  and  the  corn  needs  no  tending — where 
hunting  is  easy,  the  forests  delightful,  the  summers 
are  pleasant,  and  the  winters  are  mild! — O!  think 
once,  my  daughter,  how  soon  you  may  have  a 
brave  brother  made  prisoner  in  battle,  and  sacrificed 
to  feast  the  ambition  of  the  enemies  of  his  kindred, 
and  leave  us  to  mourn  for  the  loss  of  a  friend,  a 
son  and  a  brother,  whose  bow  brought  us  venison, 
and  supplied  us  with  blankets! — Our  task  is  quite 
easy  at  home,  and  our  business  needs  our  attention. 
With  war  we  have  nothing  to  do:  our  husbands 
and  brothers  are  proud  to  defend  us,  and  their 
hearts  beat  with  ardor  to  meet  our  proud  foes. 
Oh!  stay  then,  my  daughter;  let  our  warriors  alone 
perform  on  their  victims  their  customs  of  war!" 

This  speech  of  our  mother  had  the  desired  effect; 
we_  stayed  at  home  and  attended  to  our  domestic 
concerns.  The  prisoners,  however,  were  executed 
by  having  their  heads  taken  ofF,  their  bodies  cut  in 
pieces  and  shockingly  mangled,  and  then  burnt  to 

58  LIFE  OF 

ashes! — They  were  burnt  on  the  north  side  of 
Fall-brook,  directly  opposite  the  town  which  was 
on  the  south  side,  some  time  in  the  month  of  No- 
vember, i/59.87 

I  spent  the  winter  comfortably,  and  as  agreeably 
as  I  could  have  expected  to,  in  the  absence  of  my 
kind  husband.  Spring  at  length  appeared,  but 
Sheninjee  was  yet  away;  summer  came  on,  but 
my  husband  had  not  found  me.  Fearful  forebod- 
ings haunted  my  imagination;  yet  I  felt  confident 
that  his  affection  for  me  was  so  great  that  if  he  was 
alive  he  would  follow  me  and  I  should  again  see 
him.  In  the  course  of  the  summer,  however,  I 
received  intelligence  that  soon  after  he  left  me  at 
Yiskahwana  he  was  taken  sick  and  died  88  at  Wiishto. 
This  was  a  heavy  and  an  unexpected  blow.  I  was 
now  in  my  youthful  days  left  a  widow,  with  one 
son,  and  entirely  dependent  on  myself  for  his  and 
my  support.  My  mother  and  her  family  gave  me 
all  the  consolation  in  their  power,  and  in  a  few 
months  my  grief  wore  off  and  I  became  contented. 

In  a  year  or  two  after  this,  according  to  my  best 
recollection  of  the  time,  the  King  of  England 
offered  a  bounty  89  to  those  who  would  bring  in  the 
prisoners  that  had  been  taken  in  the  war,  to  some 
military  post  where  they  might  be  redeemed  and 
set  at  liberty. 

John  Van  Sice,  a  Dutchman,  who  had  frequently 
been  at  our  place,  and  was  well  acquainted  with 
every  prisoner  at  Genishau,  resolved  to  take  me  to 
Niagara,  that  I  might  there  receive  my  liberty  and 
he  the  offered  bounty.  I  was  notified  of  his  inten- 
tion; but  as  I  was  fully  determined  not  to  be  re- 
deemed at  that  time,  especially  with  his  assistance, 


I  carefully  watched  his  movements  in  order  to  avoid 
falling  into  his  hands.  It  so  happened,  however, 
that  he  saw  me  alone  at  work  in  a  corn-field,  and 
thinking  probably  that  he  could  secure  me  easily, 
ran  towards  me  in  great  haste.  I  espied  him  at 
some  distance,  and  well  knowing  the  amount  of  his 
errand,  run  from  him  with  all  the  speed  I  was  mis- 
tress of,  and  never  once  stopped  till  I  reached 
Gardow.*  He  gave  up  the  chase,  and  returned: 
but  I,  fearing  that  he  might  be  lying  in  wait  for 
me,  stayed  three  days  and  three  nights  in  an  old 
cabin  at  Gardow,  and  then  went  back  trembling  at 
every  step  for  fear  of  being  apprehended.  I  got 
home  without  difficulty;  and  soon  after,  the  chiefs  in 
council  having  learned  the  cause  of  my  elopement, 
gave  orders  that  I  should  not  be  taken  to  any  mil- 
itary post  without  my  consent;  and  that  as  it  was 
my  choice  to  stay,  I  should  live  amongst  them 
quietly  and  undisturbed.  But,  notwithstanding  the 
will  of  the  chiefs,  it  was  but  a  few  days  before  the 
old  king  of  our  tribe  told  one  of  my  Indian  brothers 
that  I  should  be  redeemed,  and  he  would  take  me 
to  Niagara  himself.  In  reply  to  the  old  king,90  my 
brother  said  that  I  should  not  be  given  up;  but 
that,  as  it  was  my  wish,  I  should  stay  with  the  tribe 
as  long  as  I  was  pleased  to.  Upon  this  a  serious 
quarrel  ensued  between  them,  in  which  my  brother 
frankly  told  him  that  sooner  than  I  should  be  taken 
by  force,  he  would  kill  me  with  his  own  hands! — 
Highly  enraged  at  the  old  king,  my  brother  came 
to  my  sister's  house,  where  I  resided,  and  informed 
her  of  all  that  had  passed  respecting  me;  and  that, 

*  I    have    given    this    orthography,    because    it    corresponds 
with  the  popular  pronunciation. 

60  LIFE  OF 

if  the  old  king  should  attempt  to  take  me,  as  he 
firmly  believed  he  would,  he  would  immediately 
take  my  life,  and  hazard  the  consequences.  He 
returned  to  the  old  king.  As  soon  as  I  came  in, 
my  sister  told  me  what  she  had  just  heard,  and 
what  she  expected  without  doubt  would  befal  me. 
Full  of  pity,  and  anxious  for  my  preservation,  she 
then  directed  me  to  take  my  child  and  go  into 
some  high  weeds  at  no  great  distance  from  the 
house,  and  there  hide  myself  and  lay  still  till  all  was 
silent  in  the  house,  for  my  brother,  she  said,  would 
return  at  evening  and  let  her  know  the  final  con- 
clusion of  the  matter,  of  which  she  promised  to 
inform  me  in  the  following  manner:  If  I  was  to  be 
killed,  she  said  she  would  bake  a  small  cake  and 
lay  it  at  the  door,  on  the  outside,  in  a  place  that 
she  then  pointed  out  to  me.  When  all  was  silent 
in  the  house,  I  was  to  creep  softly  to  the  door, 
and  if  the  cake  could  not  be  found  in  the  place 
specified,  I  was  to  go  in:  but  if  the  cake  was 
there,  I  was  to  take  my  child  and  go  as  fast  as 
I  possibly  could  to  a  large  spring  on  the  south  side 
of  Samp's  Creek,  (a  place  that  I  had  often  seen,) 
and  there  wait  till  I  should  by  some  means  hear 
from  her. 

Alarmed  for  my  own  safety,  I  instantly  follow- 
ed her  advice,  and  went  into  the  weeds,  where  I 
lay  in  a  state  of  the  greatest  anxiety,  till  all  was 
silent  in  the  house,  when  I  crept  to  the  door,  and 
there  found,  to  my  great  distress,  the  little  cake! 
I  knew  my  fate  was  fixed,  unless  I  could  keep  se- 
creted till  the  storm  was  over;  and  accordingly 
crept  back  to  the  weeds,  where  my  little  Thomas 
lay,  took  him  on  my  back,  and  laid  my  course  for 


the  spring  as  fast  as  my  legs  would  carry  me. 
Thomas  was  nearly  three  years  old,  and  very  large 
and  heavy.  I  got  to  the  spring  early  in  the 
morning,  almost  overcome  with  fatigue,  and  at  the 
same  time  fearing  that  I  might  be  pursued  and  ta- 
ken, I  felt  my  life  an  almost  insupportable  burthen. 
I  sat  down  with  my  child  at  the  spring,  and  he 
and  I  made  a  breakfast  of  the  little  cake,  and 
water  of  the  spring,  which  I  dipped  and  supped 
with  the  only  implement  which  I  possessed,  my 

In  the  morning  after  I  fled,  as  was  expected, 
the  old  King  came  to  our  house  in  search  of 
me,  and  to  take  me  off;  but,  as  I  was  not  to  be 
found,  he  gave  me  up,  and  went  to  Niagara 
with  the  prisoners  he  had  already  got  into  his  pos- 

As  soon  as  the  old  King  was  fairly  out  of  the 
way,  my  sister  told  my  brother  where  he  could 
find  me.  He  immediately  set  out  for  the  spring, 
and  found  me  about  noon.  The  first  sight  of  him 
made  me  tremble  with  the  fear  of  death;  but  when 
he  came  near,  so  that  I  could  discover  his  counte- 
nance, tears  of  joy  flowed  down  my  cheeks,  and  I 
felt  such  a  kind  of  instant  relief  as  no  one  can  pos- 
sibly experience,  unless  when  under  the  absolute 
sentence  of  death  he  receives  an  unlimited  pardon. 
We  were  both  rejoiced  at  the  event  of  the  old 
King's  project;  and  after  staying  at  the  spring 
through  the  night,  set  out  together  for  home  early 
in  the  morning.  When  we  got  to  a  cornfield  near 
the  town,  my  brother  secreted  me  till  he  could 
go  and  ascertain  how  my  case  stood;  and  finding 
that  the  old  King  was  absent,  and  that  all  was 


62  LIFE  OF 

peaceable,  he  returned  to  me,  and  I  went  home 

Not  long  after  this,  my  mother  went  to  Johns- 
town, on  the  Mohawk  river,  with  five  prisoners, 
who  were  redeemed  by  Sir  William  Johnson,  and 
set  at  liberty. 

When  my  son  Thomas  was  three  or  four  years 
old,  I  was  married  to  an  Indian,  whose  name  was 
Hiokatoo,  commonly  called  Gardow,  by  whom  I 
had  four  daughters  and  two  sons.56  I  named  my 
children,  principally,  after  my  relatives,  from  whom 
I  was  parted,  by  calling  my  girls  Jane,  Nancy,  Bet- 
sey and  Polly,  and  the  boys  John  and  Jesse.  Jane 
died  about  twenty-nine  years  ago,  in  the  month  of 
August,  a  little  before  the  great  Council  at  Big- 
Tree,91  aged  about  fifteen  years.  My  other  daugh- 
ters are  yet  living,  and  have  families. 


Peace  amongst  the  Indians. — Celebrations. — Worship. 
Exercises. — Business  of  the  Tribes. — Former  Happi- 
ness of  the  Indians  in  time  of  peace  extolled. — Their 
Morals;  Fidelity;  Honesty;  Chastity;  Temperance. 
Indians  called  to  German  Flats. — Treaty  with  Amer- 
icans.— They  are  sent  for  by  the  British  Commission- 
ers, and  go  to  Oswego. — Promises  made  by  those 
Commissioners. — Greatness  of  the  King  of  England. 
Reward  that  was  paid  them  for  joining  the  British. 
They  make  a  Treaty. — Bounty  offered  for  Scalps. 
Return  richly  dressed  and  equipped. — In  1776  they 
kill  a  man  at  Cautega  to  provoke  the  Americans. 
Prisoners  taken  at  Cherry  Valley,  brought  to  Beard's- 


Town;  redeemed,  &c. — Battle  at  Fort  Stanwix. — 
Indians  suffer  a  great  loss. — Mourning  at  Beard's 
Town. — Mrs.  Jemison's  care  of  and  services  rendered 
to  Butler  and  Brandt. 

AFTER  the  conclusion  of  the  French  war,92  our 
tribe  had  nothing  to  trouble  it  till  the  commence- 
ment of  the  Revolution.93  For  twelve  or  fifteen 
years  the  use  of  the  implements  of  war  was  not 
known,  nor  the  war-whoop  heard,  save  on  days  of 
festivity,  when  the  achievements  of  former  times 
were  commemorated  in  a  kind  of  mimic  warfare, 
in  which  the  chiefs  and  warriors  displayed  their 
prowess,  and  illustrated  their  former  adroitness,  by 
laying  the  ambuscade,  surprizing  their  enemies, 
and  performing  many  accurate  manoeuvres  with 
the  tomahawk  and  scalping  knife;  thereby  pre- 
serving and  handing  to  their  children,  the  theory 
of  Indian  warfare.  During  that  period  they  also 
pertinaciously  observed  the  religious  rites  of  their 
progenitors,  by  attending  with  the  most  scrupulous 
exactness  and  a  great  degree  of  enthusiasm  to  the 
sacrifices,  at  particular  times,  to  appease  the  anger 
of  the  evil  deity,  or  to  excite  the  commisseration 
and  friendship  of  the  Great  Good  Spirit,  whom 
they  adored  with  reverence,  as  the  author,  govern- 
or, supporter  and  disposer  of  every  good  thing  of 
which  they  participated. 

They  also  practised  in  various  athletic  games, 
such  as  running,  wrestling,  leaping,  and  playing 
ball,  with  a  view  that  their  bodies  might  be  more 
supple,  or  rather  that  they  might  not  become  ener- 
vated, and  that  they  might  be  enabled  to  make  a 
proper  selection  of  Chiefs  for  the  councils  of  the 
nation  and  leaders  for  war. 

64  LIFE  OF 

While  the  Indians  were  thus  engaged  in  their 
round  of  traditionary  performances,  with  the  addi- 
tion of  hunting,  their  women  attended  to  agricul- 
ture, their  families,  and  a  few  domestic  concerns  of 
small  consequence,  and  attended  with  but  little  la- 

No  people  can  live  more  happy  than  the  Indians 
did  in  times  of  peace,  before  the  introduction  of 
spirituous  liquors  amongst  them.  Their  lives  were 
a  continual  round  of  pleasures.  Their  wants  were 
few,  and  easily  satisfied;  and  their  cares  were  only 
for  to-day;  the  bounds  of  their  calculations  for 
future  comfort  not  extending  to  the  incalculable 
uncertainties  of  to-morrow.  If  peace  ever  dwelt 
^with  men,  it  was  in  former  times,  in  the  recesses 
from  war,  amongst  what  are  now  termed  barbarians. 
The  moral  character  of  the  Indians  was  (if  I  may 
be  allowed  the  expression)  uncontaminated.  Their 
fidelity  was  perfect,  and  became  proverbial;  they 
were  strictly  honest;  "they  despised  deception  and 
falsehood;  a^f  chastity^as  held  in  high  venera- 
tion, and  a  violation  of  it  was  considered  sacrilege. 
They  were  temperate  in  their  desires,  moderate  in 
their  passions,  and  candid  and  honorable  in  the 
expression  of  their  sentiments  on  every  subject  of 

Thus,  at  peace  amongst  themselves,  and  with 
the  neighboring  whites,  though  there  were  none  at 
that  time  very  near,  our  Indians  lived  quietly  and 
peaceably  at  home,  till  a  little  before  the  breaking 
out  of  the  revolutionary  war,  when  they  were  sent 
for,  together  with  the  Chiefs  and  members  of  the 
Six  Nations  generally,  by  the  people  of  the  States, 
to  go  to  the  German  Flats,  and  there  hold  a  general 

o    I 

»  a 

««     «« 

<     o 


council,  in  order  that  the  people  of  the  states  might 
ascertain,  in  good  season,  who  they  should  esteem 
and  treat  as  enemies,  and  who  as  friends,  in  the 
great  war  which  was  then  upon  the  point  of  break- 
ing out  between  them  and  the  King  of  England. 

Our  Indians  obeyed  the  call,  and  the  council94  was 
holden,  at  which  the  pipe  of  peace  was  smoked, 
and  a  treaty  made,  in  which  the  Six  Nations 
solemnly  agreed  that  if  a  war  should  eventually 
break  out,  they  would  not  take  up  arms  on  either 
side;  but  that  they  would  observe  a  strict  neu- 
i  trality.  With  that  the  people  of  the  states  were 
satisfied,  as  they  had  not  asked  their  assistance, 
nor  did  not  wish  it.  The  Indians  returned  to  their 
homes  well  pleased  that  they  could  live  on  neutral 
ground,  surrounded  by  the  din  of  war,  without  be- 
ing engaged  in  it. 

About  a  year  passed  off,  and  we,  as  usual,  were 
enjoying  ourselves  in  the  employments  of  peacea-  J 
ble  times,  when  a  messenger  arrived  from  the  Brit- 
ish   Commissioners,    requesting    all   the    Indians   of 
our  tribe   to   attend   a   general   council   which   was 
soon  to  be  held  at  Oswego.96    The  council  conven- 
ed,  and    being   opened,   the   British   Commissioners 
informed    the    Chiefs   that   the   object   of  calling   a    t 
council   of  the   Six   Nations,   was,   to   engage   their  | 
assistance    in    subduing    the    rebels,    the    people    of  1 
the  states,  who  had  risen  up  against  the  good  King, 
their  master,  and  were  about  to  rob  him  of  a  great 
part  of  his  possessions  and  wealth,  and  added  that 
they  would   amply  reward  them  for  all  their  ser- 

The  Chiefs  then  arose,  and  informed  the  Com- 
missioners of  the  nature  and  extent  of  the  treaty 


66  LIFE  OF 

which  they  had  entered  into  with  the  people  of  the 
states,  the  year  before,  and  that  they  should  not 
violate  it  by  taking  up  the  hatchet  against  them. 

The    Commissioners    continued    their    entreaties 
without   success,   till   they   addressed   their  avarice, 
by  telling  our  people  that  the  people  of  the  states 
were  few  in  number,  and  easily  subdued;    and  that 
on  the  account  of  their  disobedience  to  the  King, 
they  justly  merited  all  the  punishment  that  it  was 
possible  for  white  men  and  Indians  to  inflict  upon 
them;     and   added,    that   the    King   was    rich    and  I 
powerful,   both   in   money   and   subjects:    That  his/ 
rum  was  as  plenty  as  the  water  in  lake  Ontario: 
that  his  men  were  as  numerous  as  the  sands  upon 
the    lake    shore: — and    that    the    Indians,    if   they  f 
would    assist   in   the   war,   and    persevere   in    their 
friendship  to  the   King,   till   it  was   closed,   should     i 
never  want   for  money   or  goods.     Upon   this   the     \ 
Chiefs   concluded   a  treaty  with  the   British  Com- 
missioners, in  which  they  agreed  to  take  up  arms 
against  the  rebels,  and   continue  in  the  service  of 
his  Majesty  till  they  were   subdued,   in  considera- 
tion of  certain  conditions  which  were  stipulated  in 
the  treaty  to  be  performed  by  the  British  govern- 
ment and  its  agents.96 

As  soon  as  the  treaty  was  finished,  the  Commis- 
sioners made  a  present  to  each  Indian  of  a  suit  of 
clothes,  a  brass  kettle,  a  gun  and  tomahawk,  a 
scalping  knife,  a  quantity  of  powder  and  lead,  a 
piece  of  gold,  and  promised  a  bounty  on  every 
scalp  that  should  be  brought  in.  Thus  richly  clad 
and  equipped,  they  returned  home,  after  an  ab- 
sence of  about  two  weeks,  full  of  the  fire  of  war, 
and  anxious  to  encounter  their  enemies.  Many  of 


the  kettles  which  the  Indians  received  at  that  time 
are  now  in  use  on  the  Genesee  Flats. 

Hired  to  commit  depredations  upon  the  whites, 
who  had  given  them  no  offence,  they  waited  im- 
patiently to  commence  their  labor,  till  sometime 
in  the  spring  of  1776,  when  a  convenient  opportu- 
nity offered  for  them  to  make  an  attack.  At  that 
time,  a  party  of  our  Indians  were  at  Cau-te-ga,97 
who  shot  a  man  that  was  looking  after  his  horse, 
for  the  sole  purpose,  as  I  was  informed  by  my  In- 
dian brother,  who  was  present,  of  commencing 

In  May  following,  our  Indians  were  in  their  first 
battle  with  the  Americans;  but  at  what  place  I  am 
unable  to  determine.  While  they  were  absent  at 
that  time,  my  daughter  Nancy  was  born. 

The  same  year,  at  Cherry  Valley,  our  Indians 
took  a  woman  and  her  three  daughters  prisoners,98 
and  brought  them  on,  leaving  one  at  Canandaigua, 
one  at  Honeoy,  one  at  Cattaraugus,  and  one  (the 
woman)  at  Little  Beard's  Town,  where  I  resided. 
The  woman  told  me  that  she  and  her  daughters 
might  have  escaped,  but  that  they  expected  the 
British  army  only,  and  therefore  made  no  effort. 
Her  husband  and  sons  got  away.  Sometime  hav- 
ing elapsed,  they  were  redeemed  at  Fort  Niagara 
by  Col.  Butler,  who  clothed  them  well,  and  sent 
them  home. 

In  the  same  expedition,  Joseph  Smith  "  was  taken 
prisoner  at  or  near  Cherry  Valley,  brought  to 
Genesee,  and  detained  till  after  the  revolutionary 
war.  He  was  then  liberated,  and  the  Indians  made 
him  a  present,  in  company  with  Horatio  Jones,  of 
6000  acres  of  land  lying  in  the  present  town  of 
Leicester,  in  the  county  of  Livingston. 

68  LIFE  OF 

One  of  the  girls  just  mentioned,  was  married  to 
.a  British  officer  at  Fort  Niagara,  by  the  name  of 

j  Johnson,  who  at  the  time  she  was  taken,  took  a 

'  gold  ring  from  her  ringer,  without  any  compliments 
or  ceremonies.  When  he  saw  her  at  Niagara  he 
recognized  her  features,  restored  the  ring  that  he 

•A  had  so  impolitely  borrowed,  and  courted  and  mar- 

,':  ried  her. 

Previous  to  the  battle  at  Fort  Stanwix,100the  British 
sent  for  the  Indians  to  come  and  see  them  whip  the 
rebels;  and,  at  the  same  time  stated  that  they  did 
not  wish  to  have  them  fight,  but  wanted  to  have 
them  just  sit  down,  smoke  their  pipes,  and  look  on. 
Our  Indians  went,  to  a  man;  but  contrary  to  their 
expectation,  instead  of  smoking  and  looking  on, 
they  were  obliged  to  fight  for  their  lives,  and  in 
the  end  of  the  battle  were  completely  beaten,  with 
a  great  loss  in  killed  and  wounded.  Our  Indians 
alone  had  thirty-six  killed,  and  a  great  number 
wounded.  Our  town  exhibited  a  scene  of  real  sor- 
row and  distress,  when  our  warriors  returned  and 
recounted  their  misfortunes,  and  stated  the  real 
loss  they  had  sustained  in  the  engagement.  The 
mourning  was  excessive,  and  was  expressed  by  the 
most  doleful  yells,  shrieks,  and  howlings,  and  by 
inimitable  gesticulations. 

During  the  revolution,  my  house  was  the  home 
of  Col's  Butler  and  Brandt,  whenever  they  chanced 
to  come  into  our  neighborhood  as  they  passed  to 
and  from  Fort  Niagara,  which  was  the  seat  of  their 
military  operations.  Many  and  many  a  night  I 
have  pounded  samp  for  them  from  sun-set  till  sun- 
rise, and  furnished  them  with  necessary  provision 
and  clean  clothing  for  their  journey. 



Gen.  Sullivan  with  a  large  army  arrives  at  Canandai- 
gua. — Indians'  troubles. — Determine  to  stop  their 
march. — Skirmish  at  Connessius  Lake. — Circum- 
stances attending  the  Execution  of  an  Oneida  warrior. 
Escape  of  an  Indian  Prisoner. — Lieut.  Boyd  and 
another  man  taken  Prisoners. — Cruelty  of  Boyd's 
Execution. — Indians  retreat  to  the  woods. — Sullivan 
comes  on  to  Genesee  Flats  and  destroys  the  property 
of  the  Indians. — Returns. — Indians  return. — Mrs. 
Jemison  goes  to  Gardow. — Her  Employment  there. — 
Attention  of  an  old  Negro  to  her  safety,  &c. — Severe 
Winter. — Sufferings  of  the  Indians. — Destruction  of 
Game. — Indians'  Expedition  to  the  Mohawk. — Cap- 
ture old  John  O'Bail,  &c. — Other  Prisoners  taken, 

FOR  four  or  five  years  we  sustained  no  loss  in 
the  war,  except  in  the  few  who  had  been  killed  in 
distant  battles;    and  our  tribe,   because  of  the  re- 
moteness of  its  situation  from  the  enemy,  felt  secure 
from   an   attack.     At  length,   in   the   fall  of  1779, 
intelligence  was  received  that  a  large  and  powerful 
army  of  the  rebels,  under  the  command  of  General 
Sullivan,101  was  making  rapid  progress  towards  our  ( 
settlement,    burning   and    destroying   the   huts   and  j 
corn-fields;    killing  the  cattle,  hogs  and  horses,  and  , 
cutting  down  the  fruit  trees  belonging  to  the  Indians  j 
throughout  the  country. 

Our  Indians  immediately  became  alarmed,  and 
suffered  every  thing  but  death  from  fear  that  they 
should  be  taken  by  surprize,  and  totally  destroyed 
at  a  single  blow.  But  in  order  to  prevent  so  great 
a  catastrophe,  they  sent  out  a  few  spies  who  were 

70  LIFE  OF 

to  keep  themselves  at  a  short  distance  in  front  of 
the  invading  army,  in  order  to  watch  its  operations, 
and  give  information  of  its  advances  and  success. 

Sullivan  arrived  at  Canandaigua  Lake,  and  had 
finished  his  work  of  destruction  there,  and  it  was 
ascertained  that  he  was  about  to  march  to  our  flats, 
when  our  Indians  resolved  to  give  him  battle  on 
the  way,  and  prevent,  if  possible,  the  distresses  to 
which  they  knew  we  should  be  subjected,  if  he 
should  succeed  in  reaching  our  town.  Accordingly 
they  sent  all  their  women  and  children  into  the 
woods  a  little  west  of  Little  Beard's  Town,  in  order 
that  we  might  make  a  good  retreat  if  it  should  be 
necessary,  and  then,  well  armed,  set  out  to  face  the 
conquering  enemy.  The  place  which  they  fixed 
upon  for  their  battle  ground  lay  between  Honeoy 
Creek  and  the  head  of  Connessius  Lake. 

At  length  a  scouting  party  from  Sullivan's  army 
arrived  at  the  spot  selected,  when  the  Indians  arose 
from  their  ambush  with  all  the  fierceness  and  terror 
that  it  was  possible  for  them  to  exercise,  and 
directly  put  the  party  upon  a  retreat.  Two  Oneida 
Indians  were  all  the  prisoners  that  were  taken  in 
that  skirmish.  One  of  them  was  a  pilot  of  Gen. 
Sullivan,  and  had  been  very  active  in  the  war,  ren- 
dering to  the  people  of  the  states  essential  services. 
At  the  commencement  of  the  revolution  he  had  a 
brother  older  than  himself,  who  resolved  to  join 
the  British  service,  and  endeavored  by  all  the  art 
that  he  was  capable  of  using  to  persuade  his  brother 
to  accompany  him;  but  his  arguments  proved 
abortive.  This  went  to  the  British,  and  that  joined 
the  American  army.  At  this  critical  juncture  they 
met,  one  in  the  capacity  of  a  conqueror,  the  other 


in  that  of  a  prisoner;  and  as  an  Indian  seldom 
forgets  a  countenance  that  he  has  seen,  they  recog- 
nized each  other  at  sight.  Envy  and  revenge 
glared  in  the  features  of  the  conquering  savage,  as 
he  advanced  to  his  brother  (the  prisoner)  in  all  the 
haughtiness  of  Indian  pride,  heightened  by  a  sense 
of  power,  and  addressed  him  in  the  following  man- 

"Brother,  you  have  merited  death!  The  hatchet 
or  the  war-club  shall  finish  your  career! — When  I 
begged  of  you  to  follow  me  in  the  fortunes  of  war, 
you  was  deaf  to  my  cries — you  spurned  my  entrea- 

"Brother!  you  have  merited  death  and  shall 
have  your  deserts!  When  the  rebels  raised  their 
hatchets  to  fight  their  good  master,  you  sharpened 
your  knife,  you  brightened  your  rifle  and  led  on 
our  foes  to  the  fields  of  our  fathers! — You  have 
merited  death  and  shall  die  by  our  hands!  When 
those  rebels  had  drove  us  from  the  fields  of  our 
fathers  to  seek  out  new  homes,  it  was  you  who 
could  dare  to  step  forth  as  their  pilot,  and  conduct 
them  even  to  the  doors  of  our  wigwams,  to  butcher 
our  children  and  put  us  to  death!  No  crime  can  be 
greater! — But  though  you  have  merited  death  and 
shall  die  on  this  spot,  my  hands  shall  not  be  stained 
in  the  blood  of  a  brother!  Who  will  strike?" 

Little  Beard,  who  was  standing  by,  as  soon  as 
the  speech  was  ended,  struck  the  prisoner  on  the 
head  with  his  tomahawk,  and  despatched  him  at 

Little  Beard  then  informed  the  other  Indian 
prisoner  that  as  they  were  at  war  with  the  whites 
only,  and  not  with  the  Indians,  they  would  spare 

72  LIFE  OF 

his  life,  and  after  a  while  give  him  his  liberty  in  an 
honorable  manner.     The  Oneida  warrior,   however, 
was  jealous  of  Little  Beard's  fidelity;    and  suspect- 
ing that  he  should  soon  fall  by  his  hands,  watched 
for   a   favorable   opportunity   to   make   his   escape; 
which   he   soon   effected.     Two   Indians   were   lead- 
ing him,  one  on  each  side,  when  he  made  a  violent 
effort,  threw  them  upon  the  ground,   and   run   for 
his  life  towards  where  the  main  body  of  the  Amer- 
ican    army    was     encamped.      The     Indians     pur- 
sued   him   without   success;     but   in    their   absence 
they  fell  in  with  a  small  detachment  of  Sullivan's 
men,    with    whom    they    had    a    short    but    severe 
skirmish,   in   which   they   killed   a   number  of    the 
enemy,  took  Capt.  or  Lieut.  William  Boyd  102   and 
one  private,  prisoners,  and  brought  them  to  Little 
Beard's    Town,    where    they    were    soon    after    put 
to  death  in  the  most  shocking  and  cruel  manner. 
Little  Beard,  in  this,  as  in  all  other  scenes  of  cru- 
elty that  happened  at  his  town,  was  master  of  cere- 
monies, and  principal  actor.     Poor  Boyd  was  strip- 
ped  of  his   clothing,   and   then   tied   to   a   sapling, 
where  the  Indians  menaced  his  life  by  throwing  their 
tomahawks    at    the    tree,    directly    over    his    head, 
brandishing   their    scalping    knives    around    him    in 
the  most  frightful  manner,  and  accompanying  their 
ceremonies    with    terrific    shouts    of   joy.     Having 
punished  him  sufficiently  in  this  way,  they  made  a 
small  opening  in  his  abdomen,  took  out  an  intes- 
tine, which  they  tied  to  the  sapling,  and  then  un- 
bound him  from  the  tree,  and  drove  him  round  it 
till  he  had  drawn  out  the  whole  of  his  intestines. 
He  was  then  beheaded,  his  head  was  stuck  upon  a 
pole,   and   his    body  left  on   the   ground    unburied. 


Thus  ended  the  life  of  poor  William  Boyd,  who, 
it  was  said,  had  every  appearance  of  being  an  ac- 
tive and  enterprizing  officer,  of  the  first  talents. 
The  other  prisoner  was  (if  I  remember  distinctly) 
only  beheaded  and  left  near  Boyd. 

This  tragedy  being  finished,  our  Indians  again 
held  a  short  council  on  the  expediency  of  giving 
Sullivan  battle,  if  he  should  continue  to  advance, 
and  finally  came  to  the  conclusion  that  they  were 
not  strong  enough  to  drive  him,  nor  to  prevent  his 
taking  possession  of  their  fields:  but  that  if  it  was 
possible  they  would  escape  with  their  own  lives,  \ 
preserve  their  families,  and  leave  their  possessions 
to  be  overrun  by  the  invading  army. 

The  women  and  children  were  then  sent  on  still 
further  towards  Buffalo,  to  a  large  creek  that  was 
called  by  the  Indians  Catawba,103  accompanied  by  a 
part  of  the  Indians,  while  the  remainder  secreted 
themselves  in  the  woods  back  of  Beard's  Town,  to 
watch  the  movements  of  the  army. 

At  that  time  I  had  three  children  who  went  with 
me  on  foot,  one  who  rode  on  horse  back,  and  one 
whom  I  carried  on  my  back. 

Our  corn  was  good  that  year;  a  part  of  which 
we  had  gathered  and  secured  for  winter. 

In  one  or  two  days  after  the  skirmish  at  Connis- 
'  sius  lake,  Sullivan  and  his  army  arrived  at  Genesee    \ 
river,   where   they    destroyed    every   article   of  the 
food  kind  that  they  could  lay  their  hands  on.     A 
part  of  our  corn  they  burnt,  and  threw  the  remain-      ^ 
der  into  the  river.     They  burnt  our  houses,  killed 
what  few   cattle   and   horses  they  could   find,   des-    x 
troyed   our   fruit   trees,    and    left   nothing    but   the 
6  G 

74  LIFE  OF 

bare  soil  and  timber.     But  the  Indians  had  eloped 
and  were  not  to  be  found. 

Having  crossed  and  recrossed  the  river,  and  fin- 
ished the  work  of  destruction,  the  army  marched 
off  to  the  east.  Our  Indians  saw  them  move  off, 
but  suspecting  that  it  was  Sullivan's  intention  to 
watch  our  return,  and  then  to  take  us  by  surprize, 
resolved  that  the  main  body  of  our  tribe  should 
hunt  where  we  then  v/ere,  till  Sullivan  had  gone  so 
far  that  there  would  be  no  danger  of  his  returning 
to  molest  us. 

This  being  agreed  to,  we  hunted  continually  till 
the  Indians  concluded  that  there  could  be  no  risk 
in  our  once  more  taking   possession  of  our  lands. 
Accordingly  we   all   returned;    but  what  were   our  A 
feelings  when  we  found  that  there  was  not  a  mouth-  J 
ful  of  any  kind  of  sustenance  left,  not  even  enough 
to  keep  a  child  one  day  from  perishing  with  hunger. 

The  weather  by  this  time  had  become  cold  and 
stormy;    and   as  we  were   destitute  of  houses  and 
food  too,  I  immediately  resolved  to  take  my  chil-  | 
dren  and  look  out  for  myself,  without  delay.     With 
this  intention  I  took  two  of  my  little  ones  on  my 
back,   bade  the  other  three  follow,   and   the   same  j 
night  arrived  on  the  Gardow  flats,  where  I  have  I 
ever  since  resided. 

At  that  time,  two  negroes,  who  had  run  away 
from  their  masters  sometime  before,  were  the  only 
inhabitants  of  those  flats.  They  lived  in  a  small 
cabin  and  had  planted  and  raised  a  large  field  of 
corn,  which  they  had  not  yet  harvested.  As  they 
were  in  want  of  help  to  secure  their  crop,  I  hired 
to  them  to  husk  corn  till  the  whole  was  harvested. 

I  have  laughed  a  thousand  times  to  myself  when 


I  have  thought  of  the  good  old  negro,  who  hired 
me,  who  fearing  that  I  should  get  taken  or  injured 
by  the  Indians,  stood  by  me  constantly  when  I  was 
husking,  with  a  loaded  gun  in  his  hand,  in  order  to 
keep  off  the  enemy,  and  thereby  lost  as  much  labor 
of  his  own  as  he  received  from  me,  by  paying  good 
wages.  I,  however,  was  not  displeased  with  his 
attention;  for  I  knew  that  I  should  need  all  the 
corn  that  I  could  earn,  even  if  I  should  husk  the 
whole.  I  husked  enough  for  them,  to  gain  for 
myself,  at  every  tenth  string,  one  hundred  strings 
of  ears,  which  were  equal  to  twenty-five  bushels  of 
shelled  corn.  This  seasonable  supply  made  my 
family  comfortable  for  samp  and  cakes  through  the 
succeeding  winter,104  which  was  the  most  severe  that 
I  have  witnessed  since  my  remembrance.  The 
snow  fell  about  five  feet  deep,  and  remained  so  for 
a  long  time,  and  the  weather  was  extremely  cold; 
so  much  so  indeed,  that  almost  all  the  game  upon 
which  the  Indians  depended  for  subsistence,  per- 
ished, and  reduced  them  almost  to  a  state  of  star- 
vation through  that  and  three  or  four  succeeding 
years.  When  the  snow  melted  in  the  spring,  deer 
were  found  dead  upon  the  ground  in  vast  numbers; 
and  other  animals,  of  every  description,  perished 
from  the  cold  also,  and  were  found  dead,  in  multi- 
tudes. Many  of  our  people  barely  escaped  with 
their  lives,  and  some  actually  died  of  hunger  and 

But  to  return  from  this  digression:  Having  been 
completely  routed  at  Little  Beard's  Town,  deprived 
of  a  house,  and  without  the  means  of  building  one 
in  season,  after  I  had  finished  my  husking,  and 
having  found  from  the  short  acquaintance  which  I 

76  LIFE  OF 

had  had  with  the  negroes,  that  they  were  kind  and 
friendly,  I  concluded,  at  their  request,  to  take  up 
my  residence  with  them  for  a  while  in  their  cabin, 
till  I  should  be  able  to  provide  a  hut  for  myself.  I 
lived  more  comfortable  than  I  expected  to  through 
the  winter,  and  the  next  season  made  a  shelter  for 

The  negroes  continued  on  my  flats  two  or  three 
years  after  this,  and  then  left  them  for  a  place  that 
they  expected  would  suit  them  much  better.  But 
as  that  land  became  my  own  in  a  few  years,  by 
virtue  of  a  deed  from  the  Chiefs  of  the  Six  Nations, 
I  have  lived  there  from  that  to  the  present  time. 

My  flats  were  cleared  before  I  saw  them;  and  it 
was  the  opinion  of  the  oldest  Indians  that  were  at 
Genishau,  at  the  time  that  I  first  went  there,  that 
all  the  flats  on  the  Genesee  river  were  improved 
before  any  of  the  Indian  tribes  ever  saw  them.  I 
well  remember  that  soon  after  I  went  to  Little 
Beard's  Town,  the  banks  of  Fall-Brook  were  washed 
off",  which  left  a  large  number  of  human  bones 
uncovered.  The  Indians  then  said  that  those  were 
not  the  bones  of  Indians,  because  they  had  never 
heard  of  any  of  their  dead  being  buried  there;  but 
that  they  were  the  bones  of  a  race  of  men  who  a 
great  many  moons  before,  cleared  that  land  and 
lived  on  the  flats. 

The  next  summer  after  Sullivan's  campaign,  our 
Indians,  highly  incensed  at  the  whites  for  the  treat- 
ment they  had  received,  and  the  sufferings  which 
they  had  consequently  endured,  determined  to 
obtain  some  redress  by  dectroying  their  frontier 
settlements.  Corn  Planter,  otherwise  called  John 
O'Bail,  led  the  Indians,  and  an  officer  by  the  name 


of  Johnston  commanded  the  British  in  the  expedi- 
tion. The  force  was  large,  and  so  strongly  bent 
upon  revenge  and  vengeance,  that  seemingly  no- 
thing could  avert  its  march,  nor  prevent  its  depre- 
dations. After  leaving  Genesee  they  marched 
directly  to  some  of  the  head  waters  of  the  Susque- 
hannah  river,  and  Schoharie  Creek,  went  down 
that  creek  to  the  Mohawk  river,  thence  up  that 
river  to  Fort  Stanwix,  and  from  thence  came  home. 
In  their  route  they  burnt  a  number  of  places;  de- 
stroyed all  the  cattle  and  other  property  that  fell  in 
their  way;  killed  a  number  of  white  people,  and 
brought  home  a  few  prisoners. 

In  that  expedition,  when  they  came  to  Fort 
Plain,  on  the  Mohawk  river,  Corn  Planter  and  a 
party  of  his  Indians  took  old  John  O'Bail,105  a  white 
man,  and  made  him  a  prisoner.  Old  John  O'Bail, 
in  his  younger  days  had  frequently  passed  through 
the  Indian  settlements  that  lay  between  the  Hud- 
son and  Fort  Niagara,  and  in  some  of  his  excur- 
sions had  become  enamored  with  a  squaw,  by 
whom  he  had  a  son  that  was  called  Corn  Planter. 

Corn  Planter,106  was  a  chief  of  considerable  emi- 
nence; and  having  been  informed  of  his  parentage 
and  of  the  place  of  his  father's  residence,  took 
the  old  man  at  this  time,  in  order  that  he  might 
make  an  introduction  leisurely,  and  become  ac- 
quainted with  a  man  to  whom,  though  a  stranger, 
he  was  satisfied  that  he  owed  his  existence. 

After  he  had  taken  the  old  man,  his  father,  he 
led  him  as  a  prisoner  ten  or  twelve  miles  up  the 
river,  and  then  stepped  before  him,  faced  about, 
and  addressed  him  in  the  following  terms: — 

"My    name    is    John    O'Bail,    commonly    called 


78  LIFE  OF 

Corn  Planter.  I  am  your  son!  you  are  my  father! 
You  are  now  my  prisoner,  and  subject  to  the 
customs  of  Indian  warfare:  but  you  shall  not  be 
harmed;  you  need  not  fear.  I  am  a  warrior! 
Many  are  the  scalps  which  I  have  taken!  Many 
prisoners  I  have  tortured  to  death!  I  am  your  son! 
I  am  a  warrior!  I  was  anxious  to  see  you,  and  to 
greet  you  in  friendship.  I  went  to  your  cabin  and 
took  you  by  force!  But  your  life  shall  be  spared. 
Indians  love  their  friends  and  their  kindred,  and 
treat  them  with  kindness.  If  now  you  choose  to 
follow  the  fortune  of  your  yellow  son,  and  to  live 
with  our  people,  I  will  cherish  your  old  age  with 
plenty  of  venison,  and  you  shall  live  easy:  But  if  it 
is  your  choice  to  return  to  your  fields  and  live  with 
your  white  children,  I  will  send  a  party  of  my 
trusty  young  men  to  conduct  you  back  in  safety. 
I  respect  you,  my  father;  you  have  been  friendly 
to  Indians,  and  they  are  your  friends." 

Old  John  chose  to  return.  Corn  Planter,  as 
good  as  his  word,  ordered  an  escort  to  attend  him 
home,  which  they  did  with  the  greatest  care. 

Amongst  the  prisoners  that  were  brought  to 
Genesee,  was  William  Newkirk,  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Price,  and  two  negroes. 

Price  lived  a  while  with  Little  Beard,  and  after- 
wards with  Jack  Berry,  an  Indian.  When  he  left 
Jack  Berry  he  went  to  Niagara,  where  he  now  re- 

Newkirk  was  brought  to  Beard's  Town,  and  lived 
with  Little  Beard  and  at  Fort  Niagara  about  one 
year,  and  then  enlisted  under  Butler,  and  went 
with  him  on  an  expedition  to  the  Monongahela. 



Life  of  Ebenezer  Allen,  a  Tory. — He  comes  to  Gar- 
clow. — His  intimacy  with  a  Nanticoke  Squaw. — She 
gives  him  a  Cap. — Her  Husband's  jealousy. — Cruelty 
to  his  Wife. — Hiokatoo's  Mandate. — Allen  supports 
her. — Her  Husband  is  received  into  favor. — Allen  la- 
bors.— Purchases  Goods. — Stops  the  Indian  War. — His 
troubles  with  the  Indians. — Marries  a  Squaw. — Is 
taken  and  carried  to  Quebec. — Acquitted. — Goes  to 
Philadelphia. — Returns  to  Genesee  with  a  Store  of 
Goods,  &c. — Goes  to  Farming. — Moves  to  Allen's 
Creek. — Builds  Mills  at  Rochester. — Drowns  a 
Dutchman. — Marries  a  white  Wife. — Kills  an  old 
Man. — Gets  a  Concubine. — Moves  to  Mt.  Morris. — 
Marries  a  third  Wife  and  gets  another  Concubine. — 
Receives  a  tract  of  Land. — Sends  his  Children  to 
other  States,  &c. — Disposes  of  his  Land. — Moves  to 
Grand  River,  where  he  dies. — His  Cruelties. 

Sometime  near  the  close  of  the  revolutionary  I 
war,  a  white  man  by  the  name  of  Ebenezer  Allen,  * 
left  his  people  in  the  state  of  Pennsylvania  on  the 
account  of  some  disaffection  towards  his  country- 
men, and  came  to  the  Genesee  river,  to  reside  with 
the  Indians.  He  tarried  at  Genishau  a  few  days, 
and  came  up  to  Gardow,  where  I  then  resided. — 
He  was,  apparently,  without  any  business  that 
would  support  him;  but  he  soon  became  acquaint- 
ed with  my  son  Thomas,  with  whom  he  hunted 
for  a  long  time,  and  made  his  home  with  him  at 
my  house;  winter  came  on,  and  he  continued  his 

When  Allen  came  to  my  house,  I  had  a  white 
man    living    on    my    land,    who    had    a    Nanticoke 

80  LIFE  OF 

squaw  for  his  wife,  with  whom  he  had  lived  very 
peaceably;  for  he  was  a  moderate  man  commonly, 
and  she  was  a  kind,  eentle,  cunning  creature.  It 
so  happened  that  he  had  no  hay  for  his  cattle;  so 
that  in  the  winter  he  was  obliged  to  drive  them 
every  day,  perhaps  half  a  mile  from  his  house,  to 
let  them  feed  on  rushes,  which  in  those  days  were 
so  numerous  as  to  nearly  cover  the  ground. 

Allen  having  frequently  seen  the  squaw  in  the 
fall,  took  the  opportunity  when  her  husband  was 
absent  with  his  cows,  daily  to  make  her  a  visit; 
and  in  return  for  his  kindness  she  made  and 
gave  him  a  red  cap  finished  and  decorated  in  the 
highest  Indian  style. 

The  husband  had  for  some  considerable  length 
of  time  felt  a  degree  of  jealousy  that  Allen  was 
trespassing  upon  him  with  the  consent  of  his 
squaw;  but  when  he  saw  Allen  dressed  in  so  fine 
an  Indian  cap,  and  found  that  his  dear  Nanticoke 
had  presented  it  to  him,  his  doubts  all  left  him, 
and  he  became  so  violently  enraged  that  he  caught 
her  by  the  hair  of  her  head,  dragged  her  on  the 
ground  to  my  house,  a  distance  of  forty  rods,  and 
threw  her  in  at  the  door.  Hiokatoo,  my  husband, 
exasperated  at  the  sight  of  so  much  inhumanity, 
hastily  took  down  his  old  tomahawk,  which  for 
awhile  had  lain  idle,  shook  it  over  the  cuckold's 
head,  and  bade  him  jogo  (i.  e.  go  off.)  The  en- 
raged husband,  well  knowing  that  he  should  feel  a 
blow  if  he  waited  to  hear  the  order  repeated,  in- 
stantly retreated,  and  went  down  the  river  to 
his  cattle.  We  protected  the  poor  Nanticoke  wo- 
man, and  gave  her  victuals;  and  Allen  sympathi- 
zed with  her  in  her  misfortunes  till  spring,  when 

The  above  engraving  according  to  Mn.  Jamison'*  account,  is  a  correct  view 

following  narrative,  as  relate* 


9  capture  of  her  Father's  family,  the  particular!  of  which  are  given  in  the 
lerself,  previous  tq  her  death. 

FTH    (1840)    EDITION   OF    "THE    LIFE    OF   MARY   JEMISON" 


her  husband  came  to  her,  acknowledged  his  former 
errors,  and  that  he  had  abused  her  without  a  cause, 
promised  a  reformation,  and  she  received  him  with 
every  mark  of  a  renewal  of  her  affection.  They 
went  home  lovingly,  and  soon  after  removed  to 

The  same  spring,  Allen  commenced  working 
my  flats,  and  continued  to  labor  there  till  after  the 
peace  in  1783.  He  then  went  to  Philadelphia  on 
some  business  that  detained  him  but  a  few  days, 
and  returned  with  a  horse  and  some  dry  goods, 
which  he  carried  to  a  place  that  is  now  called 
Mount  Morris,  where  he  built  or  bought  a  small 

The  British  and  Indians  on  the  Niagara  frontier, 
dissatisfied  with  the  treaty  of  peace,  were  deter- 
mined, at  all  hazards,  to  continue  their  depreda- 
tions upon  the  white  settlements  which  lay  between 
them  and  Albany.  They  actually  made  ready, 
and  were  about  setting  out  on  an  expedition  to  that 
effect,  when  Allen  (who  by  this  time  understood 
their  custoniSof'war)  took  a  belt  of  wampum, 
which  he  had  fraudulently  procured,  and  carried 
it  as  a  token  of  peace  from  the  Indians  to  the  com- 
mander of  the  nearest  American  military  post. 

The  Indians  were  soon  answered  by  the  Amer- 
ican officer  that  the  wampum  was  cordially  accept- 
ed; and,  that  a  continuance  of  peace  was  ardent- 
ly wished  for.  The  Indians,  at  this,  were  cha- 
grined and  disappointed  beyond  measure;  but  as 
they  held  the  wampum  to  be  a  sacred  thing,  they 
dared  not  to  go  against  the  import  of  its  meaning, 
and  immediately  buried  the  hatchet  as  it  respected 
the  people  of  the  United  States;  and  smoked  the 

82  LIFE  OF 

pipe  of  peace.  They,  however,  resolved  to  pun- 
ish Allen  for  his  officiousness  in  meddling  with 
their  national  affairs,  by  presenting  the  sacred 
wampum  without  their  knowledge,  and  went  about 
devising  means  for  his  detection.  A  party  was 
accordingly  despatched  from  Fort  Niagara  to  ap- 
prehend him;  with  orders  to  conduct  him  to  that 
post  for  trial,  or  for  safe  keeping,  till  such  time  as 
his  fate  should  be  determined  upon  in  a  legal  man- 

The  party  came  on;  but  before  it  arrived  at 
Gardow,  Allen  got  news  of  its  approach,  and  fled 
for  safety,  leaving  the  horse  and  goods  that  he  had 
brought  from  Philadelphia,  an  easy  prey  to  his 
enemies.  He  had  not  been  long  absent  when  they 
arrived  at  Gardow,  where  they  made  diligent 
search  for  him  till  they  were  satisfied  that  they 
could  not  find  him,  and  then  seized  the  effects 
which  he  had  left,  and  returned  to  Niagara.  My 
son  Thomas,  went  with  them,  with  Allen's  horse, 
and  carried  the  goods. 

Allen,  on  finding  that  his  enemies  had  gone, 
came  back  to  my  house,  where  he  lived  as  before; 
but  of  his  return  they  were  soon  notified  at  Niaga- 
ra, and  Nettles  (who  married  Priscilla  Ramsay) 
with  a  small  party  of  Indians  came  on  to  take  him. 
He,  however,  by  some  means  found  that  they 
were  near,  and  gave  me  his  box  of  money  and 
trinkets  to  keep  safely,  till  he  called  for  it,  and  again 
took  to  the  woods. 

Nettles  came  on  determined  at  all  events  to  take 
him  before  he  went  back;  and,  in  order  to  accom- 
plish his  design,  he,  with  his  Indians,  hunted  in  the 
day  time  and  lay  by  at  night  at  my  house,  and  in 


that  way  they  practised  for  a  number  of  days. 
Allen  watched  the  motion  of  his  pursuers,  and 
every  night  after  they  had  gone  to  rest,  came  home 
and  got  some  food,  and  then  returned  to  his  retreat. 
It  was  in  the  fall,  and  the  weather  was  cold 
and  rainy,  so  that  he  suffered  extremely.  Some 
nights  he  sat  in  my  chamber  till  nearly  day-break, 
while  his  enemies  were  below,  and  when  the  time 
arrived  I  assisted  him  to  escape  unnoticed. 

Nettles  at  length  abandoned  the  chase — went 
home,  and  Allen,  all  in  tatters,  came  in.  By  run- 
ning in  the  woods  his  clothing  had  become  torn 
into  rags,  so  that  he  was  in  a  suffering  condition, 
almost  naked.  Hiokatoo  gave  him  a  blanket,  and 
a  piece  of  broadcloth  for  a  pair  of  trowsers.  Allen 
made  his  trowsers  himself,  and  then  built  a  raft,  on 
which  he  went  down  the  river  to  his  own  place  at 
Mount  Morris. 

About  that  time  he  married  a  squaw,  whose 
name  was  Sally. 

The  Niagara  people  finding  that  he  was  at  his 
own  house,  came  and  took  him  by  surprize  when 
he  least  expected  them,  and  carried  him  to  Niaga- 
ra. Fortunately  for  him,  it  so  happened  that  just 
as  they  arrived  at  the  fort,  a  house  took  fire  and 
his  keepers  all  left  him  to  save  the  building,  if  pos- 
sible. Allen  had  supposed  his  doom  to  be  nearly 
sealed;  but  finding  himself  at  liberty  he  took  to 
his  heels,  left  his  escort  to  put  out  the  fire,  and  ran 
to  Tonnawanta.  There  an  Indian  give  him  some 
refreshment,  and  a  good  gun,  with  which  he  has- 
tened on  to  Little  Beard's  Town,  where  he  found 
his  squaw.  Not  daring  to  risk  himself  at  that  place 

84  LIFE  OF 

for  fear  of  being  given  up,  he  made  her  but  a  short 
visit,  and  came  immediately  to  Gardow. 

Just  as  he  got  to  the  top  of  the  hill  above  the 
Gardow  flats,  he  discovered  a  party  of  British  sol- 
diers and  Indians  in  pursuit  of  him;  and  in  fact 
they  were  so  near  that  he  was  satisfied  that  they 
saw  him,  and  concluded  that  it  would  be  impossible 
for  him  to  escape.  The  love  of  liberty,  however, 
added  to  his  natural  swiftness,  gave  him  sufficient 
strength  to  make  his  escape  to  his  former  castle  of 
safety.  His  pursuers  came  immediately  to  my 
house,  where  they  expected  to  have  found  him 
secreted,  and  under  my  protection.  They  told  me 
where  they  had  seen  him  but  a  few  moments  before, 
and  that  they  were  confident  that  it  was  within  my 
power  to  put  him  into  their  hands.  As  I  was  per- 
fectly clear  of  having  had  any  hand  in  his  escape, 
I  told  them  plainly  that  I  had  not  seen  him  since 
he  was  taken  to  Niagara,  and  that  I  could  give 
them  no  information  at  all  respecting  him.  Still 
unsatisfied,  and  doubting  my  veracity,  they  advised 
my  Indian  brother  to  use  his  influence  to  draw  from 
me  the  secret  of  his  concealment,  which  they  had 
an  idea  that  I  considered  of  great  importance,  not 
only  to  him  but  to  myself.  I  persisted  in  my  igno- 
rance of  his  situation,  and  finally  they  left  me. 

Although  I  had  not  seen  Allen,  I  knew  his  place 
of  security,  and  was  well  aware  that  if  I  told  them 
the  place  where  he  had  formerly  hid  himself,  they 
would  have  no  difficulty  in  making  him  a  prisoner. 

He  came  to  my  house  in  the  night,  and  awoke 
me  with  the  greatest  caution,  fearing  that  some  of 
his  enemies  might  be  watching  to  take  him  at  a 


time  when,  and  in  a  place  where  it  would  be  im- 
possible for  him  to  make  his  escape.  I  got  up  and 
assured  him  that  he  was  then  safe;  but  that  his 
enemies  would  return  early  in  the  morning  and 
search  him  out  if  it  should  be  possible.  Having 
given  him  some  victuals,  which  he  received  thank- 
fully, I  told  him  to  go,  but  to  return  the  next  night 
to  a  certain  corner  of  the  fence  near  my  house 
where  he  would  find  a  quantity  of  meal  that  I  would 
have  well  prepared  and  deposited  there  for  his  use. 

Early  the  next  morning,  Nettles  and  his  compa- 
ny came  in  while  I  was  pounding  the  meal  for 
Allen,  and  insisted  upon  my  giving  him  up.  I 
again  told  them  that  I  did  not  know  where  he  was, 
and  that  I  could  not,  neither  would  I,  tell  them 
any  thing  about  him.  I  well  knew  that  Allen 
considered  his  life  in  my  hands;  and  although  it 
was  my  intention  not  to  lie,  I  was  fully  determined 
to  keep  his  situation  a  profound  secret.  They 
continued  their  labor  and  examined  (as  they  sup- 
posed) every  crevice,  gully,  tree  and  hollow  log  in 
the  neighboring  woods,  and  at  last  concluded  that 
he  had  left  the  country,  and  gave  him  up  for  lost, 
and  went  home. 

At  that  time  Allen  lay  in  a  secret  place  in  the 
gulph  a  short  distance  above  my  flats,  in  a  hole 
that  he  accidentally  found  in  the  rock  near  the 
river.  At  night  he  came  and  got  the  meal  at  the 
corner  of  the  fence  as  I  had  directed  him,  and 
afterwards  lived  in  the  gulph  two  weeks.  Each 
night  he  came  to  the  pasture  and  milked  one  of 
my  cows,  without  any  other  vessel  in  which  to  re- 
ceive the  milk  than  his  hat,  out  of  which  he  drank 
it.  I  supplied  him  with  meal,  but  fearing  to  build 


86  LIFE  OF 

a  fire  he  was  obliged  to  eat  it  raw  and  wash  it  down 
with  the  milk.  Nettles  having  left  our  neighbor- 
hood, and  Allen  considering  himself  safe,  left  his 
little  cave  and  came  home.  I  gave  him  his  box  of 
money  and  trinkets,  and  he  went  to  his  own  house 
at  Mount  Morris.  It  was  generally  considered  by 
the  Indians  of  our  tribe,  that  Allen  was  an  innocent 
man,  and  that  the  Niagara  people  were  persecuting 
him  without  a  just  cause.  Little  Beard,  then  about 
to  go  to  the  eastward  on  public  business,  charged 
his  Indians  not  to  meddle  with  Allen,  but  to  let 
him  live  amongst  them  peaceably,  and  enjoy  him- 
self with  his  family  and  property  if  he  could. 
Having  the  protection  of  the  chief,  he  felt  himself 
safe,  and  let  his  situation  be  known  to  the  whites 
from  whom  he  suspected  no  harm.  They,  how- 
ever, were  more  inimical  than  our  Indians  and  were 
easily  bribed  by  Nettles  to  assist  in  bringing  him  to 
justice.  Nettles  came  on,  and  the  whites,  as  they 
had  agreed,  gave  poor  Allen  up  to  him.  He  was 
bound  and  carried  to  Niagara,  where  he  was  con- 
fined in  prison  through  the  winter.  In  the  spring 
he  was  taken  to  Montreal  or  Quebec  for  trial,  and 
was  honorably  acquitted.  The  crime  for  which  he 
was  tried  was,  for  his  having  carried  the  wampum 
to  the  Americans,  and  thereby  putting  too  sudden 
a  stop  to  their  war. 

From  the  place  of  his  trial  he  went  directly  to 
Philadelphia,  and  purchased  on  credit,  a  boat  load 
of  goods  which  he  brought  by  water  to  Conhocton, 
where  he  left  them  and  came  to  Mount  Morris  for 
assistance  to  get  them  brought  on.  The  Indians 
readily  went  with  horses  and  brought  them  to  his 
house,  where  he  disposed  of  his  dry  goods;  but  not 


daring  to  let  the  Indians  begin  to  drink  strong 
liquor,  for  fear  of  the  quarrels  which  would  natur- 
ally follow,  he  sent  his  spirits  to  my  place  and  we 
sold  them.  For  his  goods  he  received  ginseng 
roots,  principally,  and  a  few  skins.  Ginseng  at 
that  time  was  plenty,  and  commanded  a  high  price. 
We  prepared  the  whole  that  he  received  for  the 
market,  expecting  that  he  would  carry  them  to 
Philadelphia.  In  that  I  was  disappointed;  for 
when  he  had  disposed  of,  and  got  pay  for  all  his 
goods,  he  took  the  ginseng  and  skins  to  Niagara, 
and  there  sold  them  and  came  home. 

Tired  of  dealing  in  goods,  he  planted  a  large 
field  of  corn  on  or  near  his  own  land,  attended  to 
it  faithfully,  and  succeeded  in  raising  a  large  crop, 
which  he  harvested,  loaded  into  canoes  and  carried 
down  the  river  to  the  mouth  of  Allen's  Creek,  then 
called  by  the  Indian  Gin-is-a-ga,  where  he  unload- 
ed it,  built  him  a  house,  and  lived  with  his  family. 

The  next  season  he  planted  corn  at  that  place 
and  built  a  grist  and  saw  mill 108  on  Genesee  Falls, 
now  called  Rochester. 

At  the  time  Allen  built  the  mills,  he  had  an  old 
German  living  with  him  by  the  name  of  Andrews, 
whom  he  sent  in  a  canoe  down  the  river  with  his 
mill  irons.  Allen  went  down  at  the  same  time; 
but  before  they  got  to  the  mills  Allen  threw  the 
old  man  overboard  and  drowned  him,  as  it  was 
then  generally  believed,  for  he  was  never  seen  or 
heard  of  afterwards. 

In  the  course  of  the  season  in  which  Allen  built 
his  mills,  he  became  acquainted  with  the  daughter 
of  a  white  man,  who  was  moving  to  Niagara.  She 
was  handsome,  and  Allen  soon  got  into  her  good 

88  LIFE  OF 

graces,  so  that  he  married  and  took  her  home,  to 
be  a  joint  partner  with  Sally,  the  squaw,  whom  she 
had  never  heard  of  till  she  got  home  and  found  her 
in  full  possession;  but  it  was  too  late  for  her  to 
retrace  the  hasty  steps  she  had  taken,  for  her  father 
had  left  her  in  the  care  of  a  tender  husband  and 
gone  on.  She,  however,  found  that  she  enjoyed 
at  least  an  equal  half  of  her  husband's  affections, 
and  made  herself  contented.  Her  father's  name 
I  have  forgotten,  but  her's  was  Lucy. 

Allen  was  not  contented  with  two  wives,  for  in  a 
short  time  after  he  had  married  Lucy  he  came  up 
to  my  house,  where  he  found  a  young  woman  who 
had  an  old  husband  with  her.  They  had  been  on 
a  long  journey,  and  called  at  my  place  to  recruit 
and  rest  themselves.  She  filled  Allen's  eye,  and 
he  accordingly  fixed  upon  a  plan  tp  ..get  her  into 
his  possession.  He  praised  his  situation,  enum- 

:  erated  his  advantages,  and  finally  persuaded  them 
to  go  home  and  tarry  with  him  a  few  days  at  least, 
and  partake  of  a  part  of  his  comforts.  They  ac- 
cepted his  generous  invitation  and  went  home  with 
him.  But  they  had  been  there  but  two  or  three 
days  when  Allen  took  the  old  gentleman  out  to 
view  his  flats;  and  as  they  were  deliberately  walk- 

\  ing  on  the  bank  of  the  river,  pushed~him  into  the 
water.  The  old  man,  almost  strangled,  succeeded 
in  getting  out;  but  his  fall  and  exertions  had  so 
powerful  an  effect  upon  his  system  that  he  died  in 
two  or  three  days,  and  left  his  young  widow  to  the 
protection  of  his  murderer.  She  lived  with  him 
about  one  year  in  a  state  of  concubinage  and  then 
left  him. 

How   long   Allen   lived    at   Allen's   Creek   I    am 


unable  to  state;  but  soon  after  the  young  widow 
left  him,  he  removed  to  his  old  place  at  Mount 
Morris,  and  built  a  house,  where  he  made  Sally, 
his  squaw,  by  whom  he  had  two  daughters,  a  slave 
to^I<ucy,  by  whom  he  had  had  one  son;  still,  how- 
ever, he  considered  Sally  to  be  his  wife. 

After  Allen  came  to  Mt.  Morris  at  that  time,  he 
married  a  girl  by  the  name  of  Morilla  Gregory, 109 
whose  father  at  the  time  lived  on  Genesee  Flats. 
The  ceremony  being  over,  he  took  her  home  to 
live  in  common  with  his  other  wives;  but  his  house 
was  too  small  for  his  family;  for  Sally  and  Lucy, 
conceiving  that  their  lawful  privileges  would  be 
abridged  if  they  received  a  partner,  united  their 
strength  and  whipped  poor  Morilla  so  cruelly  that 
he  was  obliged  to  keep  her  in  a  small  Indian  house 
a  short  distance  from  his  own,  or  lose  her  entirely. 
Morilla,  before  she  left  Mt.  Morris,  had  four  chil- 

One  of  Morilla's  sisters  lived  with  Allen  about  a 
year  after  Morilla  was  married,  and  then  quit  him. 
A  short  time  after  they  all  got  to  living  at  Mt. 
Morris,  Allen  prevailed  upon  the  Chiefs  to  give  to 
his  Indian  children,  a  tract  of  land  four  miles 
square,110  where  he  then  resided.  The  Chiefs  gave 
them  the  land,  but  he  so  artfully  contrived  the 
conveyance,  that  he  could  apply  it  to  his  own  use, 
and  by  alienating  his  right,  destroy  the  claim  of\ 
his  children. 

Having  secured  the  land,  in  that  way,  to  himself, 
he  sent  his  two  Indian  girls  to  Trenton,  (N.  J.) 
and  his  white  son  to  Philadelphia,  for  the  purpose 
of  giving  each  of  them  a  respectable  English  edu- 
7  Hz 

90  LIFE  OF 

While  his  children  were  at  school,  he  went  to 
Philadelphia,  and  sold  his  right  to  the  land  which 
he  had  begged  of  the  Indians  for  his  children  to 
Robert  Morris.  After  that,  he  sent  for  his  daugh- 
ters to  come  home,  which  they  did. 

Having  disposed  of  the  whole  of  his  property 
on  the  Genesee  river,  he  took  his  two  white  wives 
and  their  children,  together  with  his  effects,  and 
removed  to  a  Delaware  town  on  the  river  De 
Trench,  in  Upper  Canada.  When  he  left  Mt. 
Morris,  Sally,  his  squaw,  insisted  upon  going  with 
him,  and  actually  followed  him,  crying  bitterly, 
and  praying  for  his  protection  some  two  or  three 
miles,  till  he  absolutely  bade  her  leave  him,  or  he 
would  punish  her  with  severity. 

At  length,  finding  her  case  hopeless,  she  return- 
ed to  the  Indians. 

At  the  great  treaty  at  Big  Tree,  one  of  Allen's 
daughters  claimed  the  land  which  he  had  sold  to 
Morris.  The  claim  was  examined  and  decided 
against  her  in  favor  of  Ogden,  Trumbull,  Rogers 
and  others,  who  were  the  creditors  of  Robert  Mor- 
ris. Allen  yet  believed  lu  that  his  daughter  had  an 
indisputable  right  to  the  land  in  question,  and  got 
me  to  go  with  mother  Farly,  a  half  Indian  woman, 
to  assist  him  by  interceding  with  Morris  for  it,  and 
to  urge  the  propriety  of  her  claim.  We  went  to 
Thomas  Morris,  and  having  stated  to  him  our  bu- 
siness, he  told  us  plainly  that  he  had  no  land  to 
give  away,  and  that  as  the  title  was  good,  he  nev- 
er would  allow  Allen,  nor  his  heirs,  one  foot,  or 
words  to  that  effect.  We  returned  to  Allen  the 
answer  we  had  received,  and  he,  conceiving  all 
further  attempts  to  be  useless,  went  home. 


He  died  at  the  Delaware  town,  on  the  river  De 
Trench,  in  the  year  1814  or  15,  and  left  two  white 
widows  and  one  squaw,  with  a  number  of  children, 
to  lament  his  loss. 

By  his  last  will  he  gave  all  his  property  to  his 
last  wife,  (Morilla,)  and  her  children,  without  pro- 
viding in  the  least  for  the  support  of  Lucy,  or  any 
of  the  other  members  of  his  family.  Lucy,  soon 
after  his  death,  went  with  her  children  down  the 
Ohio  river,  to  receive  assistance  from  her  friends. 

In  the  revolutionary  war,  Allen  was  a  tory,  and 
by  that  means  became  acquainted  with  our  In- 
dians, when  they  were  in  the  neighborhood  of  his 
native  place,  desolating  the  settlements  on  the 
Susquehannah.  In  those  predatory  battles,  he 
joined  them,  and  (as  I  have  often  heard  the  In- 
dians say,)  for  cruelty  was  not  exceeded  by  any  of 
his  Indian  comrades! 

At  one  time,  when  he  was  scouting  with  the  In- 
dians in  the  Susquehannah  country,  he  entered  a 
house  very  early  in  the  morning,  where  he  found 
a  man,  his  wife,  and  one  child,  in  bed.  The  man, 
as  he  entered  the  door,  instantly  sprang  on  the 
floor,  for  the  purpose  of  defending  himself  and  lit- 
tle family;  but  Allen  dispatched  him  at  one  blow. 
He  then  cut  off  his  head  and  threw  it  bleeding  in- 
to the  bed  with  the  terrified  woman;  took  the  lit- 
tle infant  from  its  mother's  breast,  and  holding  it 
by  its  legs,  dashed  its  head  against  the  jamb,  and 
left  the  unhappy  widow  and  mother  to  mourn 
alone  over  her  murdered  family.  It  has  been  said 
by  some,  that  after  he  had  killed  the  child,  he 
opened  the  fire  and  buried  it  under  the  coals  and 
embers:  But  of  that  I  am  not  certain.  I  have  of- 

92  LIFE  OF 

ten  heard  him  speak  of  that  transaction  with  a 
great  degree  of  sorrow,  and  as  the  foulest  crime  he 
had  ever  committed — one  for  which  I  have  no 
doubt  he  repented.112 


Mrs.  Jemison  has  liberty  to  go  to  her  Friends. — Chooses 
to  stay. — Her  Reasons,  &c. — Her  Indian  Brother 
makes  provisions  for  her  Settlement. — He  goes  to 
Grand  River  and  dies. — Her  Love  for  him,  &c. — She 
is  presented  with  the  Gardow  Reservation. — Is  troub- 
led by  Speculators. — Description  of  the  Soil,  &c.  of 
her  Flats. — Indian  notions  of  the  ancient  Inhabitants 
of  this  Country. 

SOON  after  the  close  of  the  revolutionary  war, 
my  Indian  brother,  Kau-jises-tau-ge-au  (which  be- 
ing interpreted  signifies  Black  Coals,)  offered  me 
my  liberty,  and  told  me  that  if  it  was  my  choice  I 
might  go  to  my  friends. 

My  son,  Thomas,  was  anxious  that  I  should  go; 
and  offered  to  go  with  me  and  assist  me  on  the 
journey,  by  taking  care  of  the  younger  children, 
and  providing  food  as  we  travelled  through  the  wil- 
derness. But  the  Chiefs  of  our  tribe,  suspecting 
from  his  appearance,  actions,  and  a  few  warlike 
exploits,  that  Thomas  would  be  a  great  warrior,  or 
a  good  counsellor,  refused  to  let  him  leave  them 
on  any  account  whatever. 

To  go  myself,  and  leave  him,  was  more  than  I 
felt  able  to  do;  for  he  had  been  kind  to  me,  and 
was  one  on  whom  I  placed  great  dependence,  The 


Chiefs  refusing  to  let  him  go,  was  one   reason  for 
my  resolving  to  stay;    but  another,  more  powerful, 
if  possible,  was,  that  I  had  got  a  large  family  of 
Indian   children,   that   I   must  take  with   me;    and 
that  if  I  should  be  so  fortunate  as  to  find  my  rela- 
tives, they  would  despise  them,  if  not  myself;    and    ^ 
treat    us    as    enemies;     or,    at    least    with    a    de- 
gree    of    cold     indifference,     which     I     thought     I  / 
could  not  endure. 

Accordingly,  after  I  had  duly  considered  the 
matter,  I  told  my  brother  that  it  was  my  choice  to 
stay  and  spend  the  remainder  of  my  days  with  my 
Indian  friends,  and  live  with  my  family  as  I  had 
heretofore  done.  He  appeared  well  pleased  with 
my  resolution,  and  informed  me,  that  as  that  was 
my  choice,  I  should  have  a  piece  of  land  that  I 
could  call  my  own,  where  I  could  live  unmolested, 
and  have  something  at  my  decease  to  leave  for 
the  benefit  of  my  children. 

In  a  short  time  he  made  himself  ready  to  go  to 
Upper  Canada;  but  before  he  left  us,  he  told  me 
that  he  would  speak  to  some  of  the  Chiefs  at  Buf- 
falo, to  attend  the  great  Council,  which  he  expect- 
ed would  convene  in  a  few  years  at  farthest,  and 
convey  to  me  such  a  tract  of  land  as  I  should  se- 
lect. My  brother  left  us,  as  he  had  proposed,  and 
soon  after  died  at  Grand  River. 

Kaujisestaugeau,  was  an  excellent  man,  and  ev- 
er treated  me  with  kindness.  Perhaps  no  one  of 
his  tribe  at  any  time  exceeded  him  in  natural  mild- 
ness of  temper,  and  warmth  and  tenderness  of  af- 
fection. If  he  had  taken  my  life  at  the  time  when 
the  avarice  of  the  old  King  inclined  him  to  procure 
my  emancipation,  it  would  have  been  done  with  a 

94  LIFE  OF 

pure  heart  and  from  good  motives.  He  loved  his 
friends;  and  was  generally  beloved.  During  the 
time  that  I  lived  in  the  family  with  him,  he  never 
offered  the  most  trifling  abuse;  on  the  contrary,  his 
whole  conduct  towards  me  was  strictly  honorable. 
I  mourned  his  loss  as  that  of  a  tender  brother,  and 
shall  recollect  him  through  life  with  emotions  of 
friendship  and  gratitude. 

I  lived  undisturbed,  without  hearing  a  word  on 
the  subject  of  my  land,  till  the  great  Council  was 
held  at  Big  Tree,  in  1797,  when  Farmer's  Broth- 
er, whose  Indian  name  is  Ho-na-ye-wus,  sent  for 
me  to  attend  the  council.  When  I  got  there,  he 
told  me  that  my  brother  had  spoken  to  him  to  see 
that  I  had  a  piece  of  land  reserved  for  my  use; 
and  that  then  was  the  time  for  me  to  receive  it.— 
He  requested  that  I  would  choose  for  myself  and 
describe  the  bounds  of  a  piece  that  would  suit  me. 
I  accordingly  told  him  the  place  of  beginning,  and 
then  went  round  a  tract  that  I  judged  would  be 
sufficient  for  my  purpose,  (knowing  that  it  would 
include  the  Gardow  Flats,)  by  stating  certain 
bounds  with  which  I  was  acquainted. 

When  the  Council  was  opened,  and  the  busi- 
ness afforded  a  proper  opportunity,  Farmer's 
Brother  presented  my  claim,  and  rehearsed  the  re- 
quest of  my  brother.  Red  Jacket,113  whose  Indian 
name  is  Sagu-yu-what-hah,114  which  interpreted,  is 
Keeper-awake,  opposed  me  or  my  claim  115  with  all 
his  influence  and  eloquence.  Farmer's  Brother 
insisted  upon  the  necessity,  propriety  and  expedi- 
ency of  his  proposition,  and  got  the  land  granted. 
The  deed  was  made  and  signed,  securing  to  me 
the  title  to  all  the  land  I  had  described;  under  the 


same  restrictions  and  regulations  that  other  Indian 
lands  are  subject  to. 

That  land  has  ever  since  been  known  by  the 
name  of  the  Gardow  Tract.116 

Red  Jacket  not  only  opposed  my  claim  at  the 
Council,  but  he  withheld  my  money  two  or  three 
years,  on  the  account  of  my  lands  having  been 
granted  without  his  consent.  Parrish  and  Jones  m 
at  length  convinced  him  that  it  was  the  white  peo- 
ple, and  not  the  Indians  who  had  given  me  the 
land,  and  compelled  him  to  pay  over  all  the  mon- 
ey which  he  had  retained  on  my  account. 

My  land  derived  its  name,  Gardow,  from  a  hill 
that  is  within  its  limits,  which  is  called  in  the  Sen- 
eca language  Kau-tam.118  Kautam  when  interpreted 
signifies  up  and  down,  or  down  and  up,  and  is 
applied  to  a  hill  that  you  will  ascend  and  descend 
in  passing  it;  or  to  a  valley.  It  has  been  said  that 
Gardow  was  the  name  of  my  husband  Hiokatoo, 
and  that  my  land  derived  its  name  from  him;  that 
however  was  a  mistake,  for  the  old  man  always 
considered  Gardow  a  nickname,  and  was  uniformly 
offended  when  called  by  it. 

About  three  hundred  acres  of  my  land,  when  I 
first  saw  it,  was  open  flats,  lying  on  the  Genesee 
River,  which  it  is  supposed  was  cleared  by  a  race 
of  inhabitants  who  preceded  the  first  Indian  settle- 
ments in  this  part  of  the  country.  The  Indians 
are  confident  that  many  parts  of  this  country  were 
settled  and  for  a  number  of  years  occupied  by  peo- 
ple of  whom  their  fathers  never  had  any  tradition, 
as  they  never  had  seen  them.  Whence  those  peo- 
ple originated,  and  whither  they  went,  I  have  never 
heard  one  of  our  oldest  and  wisest  Indians  pretend 

96  LIFE  OF 

to  guess.  When  I  first  came  to  Genishau,  the  bank 
of  Fall  Brook  had  just  slid  off  and  exposed  a  large 
number  of  human  bones,  which  the  Indians  said 
were  buried  there  long  before  their  fathers  ever 
saw  the  place;  and  that  they  did  not  know  what 
kind  of  people  they  were.  It  however  was  and  is 
believed  by  our  people,  that  they  were  not  Indians. 
My  flats  were  extremely  fertile;  but  needed 
more  labor  than  my  daughters  and  myself  were 
able  to  perform,  to  produce  a  sufficient  quantity  of 
grain  and  other  necessary  productions  of  the  earth, 
for  the  consumption  of  our  family.  The  land  had 
lain  uncultivated  so  long  that  it  was  thickly  covered 
with  weeds  of  almost  every  description.  In  order 
that  we  might  live  more  easy,  Mr.  Parrish,  with  the 
consent  of  the  chiefs,  gave  me  liberty  to  lease  or 
[  let  my  land  to  white  people  to  till  on  shares.  I 
accordingly  let  it  out,  and  have  continued  to  do  so, 
which  makes  my  task  less  burthensome,  while  at 
the  same  time  I  am  more  comfortably  supplied 
with  the  means  of  support. 


Happy  situation  of  her  Family. — Disagreement  between 
her  sons  Thomas  and  John. — Her  Advice  to  them, 
&c. — John  kills  Thomas. — Her  Affliction. — Council. 
Decision  of  the  Chiefs,  &c. — Life  of  Thomas. — His 
Wives,  Children,  &c. — Cause  of  his  Death,  &c. 

I    HAVE    frequently   heard    it    asserted    by   white 
people,  and  can  truly  say  from  my  own  experience, 


Z    43 

§  § 

S     o 

o  S 
<  -n 

>.     "3 


Z     <u 


u    « 


that  the  time  at  which  parents  take  the  most  satis- 
faction and  comfort  with  their  families  is  when 
their  children  are  young,  incapable  of  providing 
for  their  own  wants,  and  are  about  the  fireside, 
where  they  can  be  daily  observed  and  instructed. 

Few  mothers,  perhaps,  have  had  less  trouble 
with  their  children  during  their  minority  than  my- 
self. In  general,  my  children  were  friendly  to 
each  other,  and  it  was  very  seldom  that  I  knew 
them  to  have  the  least  difference  or  quarrel:  so 
far,  indeed,  were  they  from  rendering  themselves 
or  me  uncomfortable,  that  I  considered  myself 
happy — more  so  than  commonly  falls  to  the  lot  of 
parents,  especially  to  women. 

My  happiness  in  this  respect,  however,  was  not 
without  alloy;  for  my  son  Thomas,  from  some 
cause  unknown  to  me,  from  the  time  he  was  a 
small  lad,  always  called  his  brother  John,  a  witch, 
which  was  the  cause,  as  they  grew  towards  man- 
hood, of  frequent  and  severe  quarrels  between 
them,  and  gave  me  much  trouble  and  anxiety  for 
their  safety.  After  Thomas  and  John  arrived  to 
manhood,  in  addition  to  the  former  charge,  John 
got  two  wives,  with  whom  he  lived  till  the  time  of 
his  death.  Although  polygamy  was  tolerated  in 
our  tribe,  Thomas  considered  it  a  violation  of  good 
and  wholesome  rules  in  society,  and  tending  di- 
rectly to  destroy  that  friendly  social  intercourse 
and  love,  that  ought  to  be  the  happy  result  of  mat- 
rimony and  chastity.  Consequently,  he  frequent- 
ly reprimanded  John,  by  telling  him  that  his 
conduct  was  beneath  the  dignity,  and  inconsistent 
with  the  principles  of  good  Indians;  indecent  and 
unbecoming  a  gentleman;  and,  as  he  never  could 


98  LIFE  OF 

reconcile  himself  to  it,  he  was  frequently,  almost 
constantly,  when  they  were  together,  talking  to 
him  on  the  same  subject.  John  always  resented 
such  reprimand,  and  reproof,  with  a  great  de- 
gree of  passion,  though  they  never  quarrelled,  un- 
less Thomas  was  intoxicated. 

In  his  fits  of  drunkenness,  Thomas  seemed  to 
lose  all  his  natural  reason,  and  to  conduct  like  a 
wild  or  crazy  man,  without  regard  to  relatives,  de- 
cency or  propriety.  At  such  times  he  often  threat- 
ened to  take  my  life  for  having  raised  a  witch,  (as 
he  called  John,)  and  Jias  gone  so  far  as  to  raise  his 
tomahawk  to  split  my  head.  He,  however,  never 
struck  me;  but  on  John's  account  he  struck  Hiok- 
atoo,  and  thereby  excited  in  John  a  high  degree  of 
indignation,  which  was  extinguished  only  by 

For  a  number  of  years  their  difficulties,  and 
consequent  unhappiness,  continued  and  rather  in- 
creased, continually  exciting  in  my  breast  the  most 
fearful  apprehensions,  and  greatest  anxiety  for 
their  safety.  With  tears  in  my  eyes,  I  advised 
them  to  become  reconciled  to  each  other,  and  to 
be  friendly;  told  them  the  consequences  of  their 
continuing  to  cherish  so  much  malignity  and  mal- 
ice, that  it  would  end  in  their  destruction,  the  dis- 
grace of  their  families,  and  bring  me  down  to  the 
grave.  No  one  can  conceive  of  the  constant 
trouble  that  I  daily  endured  on  their  account — on 
the  account  of  my  two  oldest  sons,  whom  I  loved 
equally,  and  with  all  the  feelings  and  affection  of 
a  tender  mother,  stimulated  by  an  anxious  con- 
cern for  their  fate.  Parents,  mothers  especially, 
will  love  their  children,  though  ever  so  unkind  and 


disobedient.  Their  eyes  of  compassion,  of  real 
sentimental  affection,  will  be  involuntarily  extend- 
ed after  them,  in  their  greatest  excesses  of  iniqui- 
ty; and  those  fine  filaments  of  consanguinity, 
which  gently  entwine  themselves  around  the  heart 
where  filial  love  and  parental  care  is  equal,  will  be 
lengthened,  and  enlarged  to  cords  seemingly  of 
sufficient  strength  to  reach  and  reclaim  the  wan- 
derer. I  know  that  such  exercises  are  frequently 
unavailing;  but,  notwithstanding  their  ultimate 
failure,  it  still  remains  true,  and  ever  will,  that  the 
love  of  a  parent  for  a  disobedient  child,  will  in- 
crease, and  grow  more  and  more  ardent,  so  long  as 
a  hope  of  its  reformation  is  capable  of  stimulating 
a  disappointed  breast. 

My  advice  and  expostulations  with  my  sons 
were  abortive;  and  year  after  year  their  disaffec- 
tion for  each  other  increased.  At  length,  Thom- 
as came  to  my  house  on  the  1st  day  of  July,  1811, 
in  my  absence,  somewhat  intoxicated,  where  he 
found  John,  with  whom  he  immediately  commen- 
ced a  quarrel  on  their  old  subjects  of  difference. — 
John's  anger  became  desperate.  He  caught 
Thomas  by  the  hair  of  his  head,  dragged  him  out 
at  the  door  and  there  killed  him,  by  a  blow  which 
he  gave  him  on  the  head  with  his  tomahawk! 

I  returned  soon  after,  and  found  my  son  lifeless 
at  the  door,  on  the  spot  where  he  was  killed!  No 
one  can  judge  of  my  feelings  on  seeing  this  mourn- 
ful spectacle;  and  what  greatly  added  to  my  dis- 
tress, was  the  fact  that  he  had  fallen  by  the  mur- 
derous hand  of  his  brother!  I  felt  my  situation  un- 
supportable.  Having  passed  through  various 
scenes  of  trouble  of  the  most  cruel  and  trying  kind, 

ioo  LIFE  OF 

I  had  hoped  to  spend  my  few  remaining  days  in 
quietude,  and  to  die  in  peace,  surrounded  by  my 
family.  This  fatal  event,  however,  seemed  to  be 
a  stream  of  woe  poured  into  my  cup  of  afflictions, 
filling  it  even  to  overflowing,  and  blasting  all  my 

As  soon  as  I  had  recovered  a  little  from  the 
shock  which  I  felt  at  the  sight  of  my  departed  son, 
and  some  of  my  neighbors  had  come  in  to  assist 
in  taking  care  of  the  corpse,  I  hired  Shanks,  an 
Indian,  to  go  to  Buffalo,  and  carry  the  sorrowful 
news  of  Thomas'  death,  to  our  friends  at  that 
place,  and  request  the  Chiefs  to  hold  a  Council, 
and  dispose  of  John  as  they  should  think  proper. 
Shanks  set  out  on  his  errand  immediately,  and 
John,  fearing  that  he  should  be  apprehended  and 
punished  for  the  crime  he  had  committed,  at  the 
same  time  went  ofF  towards  Caneadea. 

Thomas  was  decently  interred  in  a  style  corres- 
ponding with  his  rank. 

The  Chiefs  soon  assembled  in  council  on  the 
trial  of  John,  and  after  having  seriously  examined 
the  matter  according  to  their  laws,  justified  his 
conduct,  and  acquitted  him.  They  considered 
Thomas  to  have  been  the  first  transgressor,  and 
that  for  the  abuses  which  he  had  offered,  he  had 
merited  from  John  the  treatment  that  he  had  re- 

John,  on  learning  the  decision  of  the  council,  re- 
turned to  his  family. 

Thomas  (except  when  intoxicated,  which  was 
not  frequent,)  was  a  kind  and  tender  child,  willing 
to  assist  me  in  my  labor,  and  to  remove  every  ob- 
stacle to  my  comfort.  His  natural  abilities  were 


said  to  be  of  a  superior  cast,  and  he  soared  above 
the  trifling  subjects  of  revenge,  which  are  common 
amongst  Indians,  as  being  far  beneath  his  atten- 
tion. In  his  childish  and  boyish  days,  his  natural 
turn  was  to  practise  in  the  art  of  war,  though  he 
despised  the  cruelties  that  the  warriors  inflicted 
upon  their  subjugated  enemies.  He  was  manly  in 
his  deportment,  courageous  and  active;  and  com- 
manded respect.  Though  he  appeared  well  pleas- 
ed with  peace,  he  was  cunning  in  Indian  warfare, 
and  succeeded  to  admiration  in  the  execution  of 
his  plans. 

At  the  age  of  fourteen  or  fifteen  years,  he  went 
into  the  war  with  manly  fortitude,  armed  with  a 
tomahawk  and  scalping  knife;  and  when  he  re- 
turned, brought  one  white  man  a  prisoner,  whom 
he  had  taken  with  his  own  hands,  on  the  west 
branch  of  the  Susquehannah  river.  It  so  happen- 
ed, that  as  he  was  looking  out  for  his  enemies,  he 
discovered  two  men  boiling  sap  in  the  woods.  He 
watched  them  unperceived,  till  dark  when  he  ad- 
vanced with  a  noiseless  step  to  where  they  were 
standing,  caught  one  of  them  before  they  were 
apprized  of  danger,  and  conducted  him  to  the 
camp.  He  was  well  treated  while  a  prisoner,  and 
redeemed  at  the  close  of  the  war. 

At  the  time  Kaujisestaugeau  gave  me  my  liber- 
ty to  go  to  my  friends,  Thomas  was  anxious  to  go 
with  me;  but  as  I  have  before  observed,  the  Chiefs 
would  not  suffer  him  to  leave  them  on  the  account 
of  his  courage  and  skill  in  war:  expecting  that 
they  should  need  his  assistance.  He  was  a  great 
Counsellor  and  a  Chief  when  quite  young;  and  in 
the  last  capacity,  went  two  or  three  times  to  Phila- 


102  LIFE  OF 

delphia  to  assist  in  making  treaties  with  the  peo- 
ple of  the  states. 

Thomas  had  four  wives,  by  whom  he  had  eight 
children.  Jacob  Jemison,  his  second  son  by  his 
last  wife,  who  is  at  this  time  twenty-seven  or  twen- 
ty-eight years  of  age,  went  to  Dartmouth  college, 
in  the  spring  of  1816,  for  the  purpose  of  receiving 
a  good  education,  where  it  was  said  that  he  was  an 
industrious  scholar,  and  made  great  proficiency  in 
the  study  of  the  different  branches  to  which  he  at- 
tended. Having  spent  two  years  at  that  Institu- 
tion, he  returned  in  the  winter  of  1818,  and  is  now 
at  Buffalo;  where  I  have  understood  that  he  con- 
templates commencing  the  study  of  medicine,  as  a 

Thomas,  at  the  time  he  was  killed,  was  a  few 
moons  over  fifty-two  years  old,  and  John  was  for- 
ty-eight. As  he  was  naturally  good  natured,  and 
possessed  a  friendly  disposition,  he  would  not  have 

/zome  to  so  untimely  an  end,  had  it  not  been  for 
his  intemperance.  He  fell  a  victim  to  the  use  of 
ardent  spirits — a  poison  that  will  soon  exterminate 
the  Indian  tribes  in  this  part  of  the  country,  and 
leave  their  names  without  a  root  or  branch.  The 
thought  is  melancholy;  but  no  arguments,  no  ex- 
amples, however  persuasive  or  impressive,  are  suffi- 
cient to  deter  an  Indian  for  an  hour  from  taking 
,  the  potent  draught,  which  he  knows  at  the  time 
f  will  derange  his  faculties,  reduce  him  to  a  level 
with  the  beasts,  or  deprive  him  of  life! 



Death  of  Hiokatoo. — Biography. — His  Birth. — Educa- 
tion. —  Goes  against  the  Cherokees,  &c.  —  Bloody 
Battles,  &c. — His  success  and  cruelties  in  the  French 
War. — Battle  at  Fort  Freeland. — Capts.  Dougherty 
and  Boon  killed. — His  Cruelties  in  the  neighborhood 
of  Cherry  Valley,  &c. — Indians  remove  their  general 
Encampment. — In  1782,  Col.  Crawford  is  sent  to 
destroy  them,  &c. — Is  met  by  a  Traitor. — Battle. — 
Crawford's  Men  surprized. — Irregular  Retreat. — 
Crawford  and  Doct.  Night  taken. — Council. — Craw- 
ford Condemned  and  Burnt. — Aggravating  Circum- 
stances.— Night  is  sentenced  to  be  Burnt. — Is  Paint- 
ed by  Hiokatoo. — Is  conducted  off,  &c. — His  fortu- 
nate Escape. — Hiokatoo  in  the  French  War  takes 
Col.  Canton. — His  Sentence. — Is  bound  on  a  wild 
Colt  that  runs  loose  three  days. — Returns  Alive.— Is 
made  to  run  the  Gauntlet. — Gets  knocked  down, 
&c. — Is  Redeemed  and  sent  Home. — Hiokatoo's 
Enmity  to  the  Cherokees,  &c.  —  His  Height  — 
Strength — Speed,  &c. 

IN  the  month  of  November  1811,  my  husband 
Hiokatoo,  who  had  been  sick  four  years  of  the 
consumption,  died  at  the  advanced  age  of  one 
hundred  and  three  years,  as  nearly  as  the  time 
could  be  estimated.  He  was  the  last  that  remain- 
ed to  me  of  our  family  connection,  or  rather  of  my 
old  friends  with  whom  I  was  adopted,  except  a  part 
of  one  family,  which  now  lives  at  Tonewanta.120 

Hiokatoo  was  buried  decently,  and  had  all  the 
insignia  of  a  veteran  warrior  buried  with  him;  con- 
sisting of  a  war  club,  tomahawk  and  scalping  knife, 

io4  LIFE  OF 

a  powder-flask,  flint,  a  piece  of  spunk,  a  small 
cake  and  a  cup;  and  in  his  best  clothing. 

Hiokatoo  was  an  old  man  when  I  first  saw  him; 
but  he  was  by  no  means  enervated.  During  the 
term  of  nearly  fifty  years  that  I  lived  with  him,  I 
received,  according  to  Indian  customs,  all  the  kind- 
ness and  attention  that  was  my  due  as  his  wife.— 
Although  war  was  his  trade  from  his  youth  till  old 
age  and  decrepitude  stopt  his  career,  he  uniformly 
treated  me  with  tenderness,  and  never  offered  an 

I  have  frequently  heard  him  repeat  the  history 
of  his  life  from  his  childhood;  and  when  he  came 
to  that  part  which  related  to  his  actions,  his  bravery 
and  his  valor  in  war;  when  he  spoke  of  the  am- 
bush, the  combat,  the  spoiling  of  his  enemies  and 
the  sacrifice  of  the  victims,  his  nerves  seemed 
strung  with  youthful  ardor,  the  warmth  of  the  able 
warrior  seemed  to  animate  his  frame,  and  to  produce 
the  heated  gestures  which  he  had  practised  in  mid- 
dle age.  He  was  a  man  of  tender  feelings  to  his 
friends,  ready  and  willing  to  assist  them  in  distress, 
yet,  as  a  warrior,  his  cruelties  to  his  enemies  per- 
haps were  unparalleled,  and  will  not  admit  a  word 
of  palliation. 

Hiokatoo,  was  born  in  one  of  the  tribes  of  the 
Six  Nations  that  inhabited  the  banks  of  the  Sus- 
quehannah;  or,  rather  he  belonged  to  a  tribe  of 
the  Senecas  that  made,  at  the  time  of  the  great 
Indian  treaty,  a  part  of  those  nations.  He  was  own 
cousin  to  Farmer's  Brother,,  a  Chief  who  has  been 
justly  celebrated  for  his  worth.  Their  mothers 
were  sisters,  and  it  was  through  the  influence  of 
Farmer's  Brother,  that  I  became  Hiokatoo's  wife. 


In  early  life,  Hiokatoo  showed  signs  of  thirst  for 
blood,  by  attending  only  to  the  art  of  war,  in  the 
use  of  the  tomahawk  and  scalping  knife;  and  in 
practising  cruelties  upon  every  thing  that  chanced 
to  fall  into  his  hands,  which  was  susceptible  of  pain. 
In  that  way  he  learned  to  use  his  implements  of 
war  effectually,  and  at  the  same  time  blunted  all 
those  fine  feelings  and  tender  sympathies  that  are 
naturally  excited,  by  hearing  or  seeing,  a  fellow 
being  in  distress.  He  could  inflict  the  most  excru- 
ciating tortures  upon  his  enemies,  and  prided  him- 
self upon  his  fortitude,  in  having  performed  the 
most  barbarous  ceremonies  and  tortures,  without 
the  least  degree  of  pity  or  remorse.  Thus  qualified, 
when  very  young  he  was  initiated  into  scenes  of 
carnage,  by  being  engaged  in  the  wars  that  pre- 
vailed amongst  the  Indian  tribes. 

In  the  year  1731,  he  was  appointed  a  runner,  to 
assist  in  collecting  an  army  to  go  against  the 
Cotawpes,  Cherokees  and  other  southern  Indians. 
A  large  army  was  collected,  and  after  a  long  and 
fatiguing  march,  met  its  enemies  in  what  was  then 
called  the  "low,  dark  and  bloody  lands,"  near  the 
mouth  of  Red  River,  in  what  is  now  called  the  state 
of  Kentucky.*  The  Cotawpes  f m  and  their  associ- 

*  Those  powerful  armies  met  near  the  place  that  is  now 
called  Clarksville,  122  which  is  situated  at  the  fork  where  Red 
River  joins  the  Cumberland,  a  few  miles  above  the  line 
between  Kentucky  and  Tennessee. 

f  The  Author  acknowledges  himself  unacquainted,  from 
Indian  history,  with  a  nation  of  this  name;  but  as  90  years 
have  elapsed  since  the  date  of  this  occurrence,  it  is  highly 
probable  that  such  a  nation  did  exist,  and  that  it  was  abso- 
lutely exterminated  at  that  eventful  period. 


io6  LIFE  OF 

ates,  had,  by  some  means,  been  apprized  of  their 
approach,  and  lay  in  ambush  to  take  them  at  once, 
when  they  should  come  within  their  reach,  and 
destroy  the  whole  army.  The  northern  Indians, 
with  their  usual  sagacity,  discovered  the  situation 
of  their  enemies,  rushed  upon  the  ambuscade  and 
massacred  1200  on  the  spot.  The  battle  continued 
for  two  days  and  two  nights,  with  the  utmost 
severity,  in  which  the  northern  Indians  were  victo- 
rious, and  so  far  succeeded  in  destroying  the 
Cotawpes  that  they  at  that  time  ceased  to  be  a 
nation.  The  victors  suffered  an  immense  loss  in 
killed;  but  gained  the  hunting  ground,  which  was 
their  grand  object,  though  the  Cherokees  would 
not  give  it  up  in  a  treaty,  or  consent  to  make  peace. 
Bows  and  arrows,  at  that  time,  were  in  general  use, 
though  a  few  guns  were  employed. 

From  that  time  he  was  engaged  in  a  number  of 
battles  in  which  Indians  only  were  engaged,  and 
made  fighting  his  business,  till  the  commencement 
of  the  French  war.  In  those  battles  he  took  a 
number  of  Indians  prisoners,  whom  he  killed  by 
tying  them  to  trees  and  then  setting  small  Indian 
boys  to  shooting  at  them  with  arrows,  till  death 
finished  the  misery  of  the  sufferers;  a  process  that 
frequently  took  two  days  for  its  completion! 

During  the  French  war  he  was  in  every  battle 
that  was  fought  on  the  Susquehannah  and  Ohio 
rivers;  and  was  so  fortunate  as  never  to  have  been 
taken  prisoner. 

At  Braddock's  defeat  he  took  two  white  prison- 
ers, and  burnt  them  alive  in  a  fire  of  his  own  kind- 

In  1777,  he  was  in  the  battle  at  Fort  Freeland,123 


in  Northumberland  county,  Penn.  The  fort  con- 
tained a  great  number  of  women  and  children,  and 
was  defended  only  by  a  small  garrison.  The  force 
that  went  against  it  consisted  of  100  British  regu- 
lars, commanded  by  a  Col.  McDonald,  and  300 
Indians  under  Hiokatoo.  After  a  short  but  bloody 
engagement,  the  fort  was  surrendered;  the  women 
and  children  were  sent  under  an  escort  to  the  next 
fort  below,  and  the  men  and  boys  taken  off  by  a 
party  of  British  to  the  general  Indian  encampment. 
As  soon  as  the  fort  had  capitulated  and  the  firing 
had  ceased,  Hiokatoo  with  the  help  of  a  few  Indians 
tomahawked  every  wounded  American  while  earn- 
estly begging  with  uplifted  hands  for  quarters. 

The  massacre  was  but  just  finished  when  Capts. 
Dougherty  and  Boon  arrived  with  a  reinforcement 
to  assist  the  garrison.  On  their  arriving  in  sight 
of  the  fort  they  saw  that  it  had  surrendered,  and 
that  an  Indian  was  holding  the  flag.  This  so  much  / 
inflamed  Capt.  Dougherty  that  he  left  his  command,  / 
stept  forward  and  shot  the  Indian  at  the  first  fire. 
Another  took  the  flag,  and  had  no  sooner  got  it 
erected  than  Dougherty  dropt  him  as  he  had  the 
first.  A  third  presumed  to  hold  it,  who  was  also 
shot  down  by  Dougherty.  Hiokatoo,  exasperated 
at  the  sight  of  such  bravery,  sallied  out  with  a  party 
of  his  Indians,  and  killed  Capts.  Dougherty,  Boon, 
and  fourteen  men,  at  the  first  fire.  The  remainder 
of  the  two  companies  escaped  by  taking  to  flight, 
and  soon  arrived  at  the  fort  which  they  had  left 
but  a  few  hours  before. 

In  an  expedition  that  went  out  against  Cherry 
Valley  and  the  neighboring  settlements,  Captain 
David,  a  Mohawk  Indian,  was  first,  and  Hiokatoo 

io8  LIFE  OF 

the  second  in  command.  The  force  consisted  of 
several  hundred  Indians,  who  were  determined  on 
mischief,  and  the  destruction  of  the  whites.  A 
continued  series  of  wantonness  and  barbarity  char- 
acterized their  career,  for  they  plundered  and  burnt 
every  thing  that  came  in  their  way,  and  killed  a 
number  of  persons,  among  whom  were  several  in- 
fants, whom  Hiokatoo  butchered  or  dashed  upon 
the  stones  with  his  own  hands.  Besides  the  instan- 
ces which  have  been  mentioned,  he  was  in  a  num- 
ber of  parties  during  the  revolutionary  war,  where 
he  ever  acted  a  conspicuous  part. 

The  Indians  having  removed  the  seat  of  their 
depredations  and  war  to  the  frontiers  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, Ohio,  Kentucky  and  the  neighboring  terri- 
tories, assembled  a  large  force  at  Upper  Sandusky, 
their  place  of  general  rendezvous,  from  whence 
they  went  out  to  the  various  places  which  they 
designed  to  sacrifice. 

Tired  of  the  desolating  scenes  that  were  so  often 
witnessed,  and  feeling  a  confidence  that  the  savages 
might  be  subdued,  and  an  end  put  to  their  crimes, 
the  American  government  raised  a  regiment,  con- 
sisting of  300  volunteers,  for  the  purpose  of  dislodg- 
ing them  from  their  cantonment  and  preventing 
further  barbarities.  Col.  William  Crawford  and 
Lieut.  Col.  David  Williamson,  men  who  had  been 
thoroughly  tried  and  approved,  were  commissioned 
by  Gen.  Washington  to  take  the  command  of  a 
service  that  seemed  all-important  to  the  welfare  of 
the  country.  In  the  month  of  July,  1782,  well 
armed  and  provided  with  a  sufficient  quantity  of 
provision,  this  regiment  made  an  expeditious  march 
through  the  wilderness  to  Upper  Sandusky,  where, 


as  had  been  anticipated,  they  found  the  Indians 
assembled  in  full  force  at  their  encampment,  pre- 
pared to  receive  an  attack. 

As  Col.  Crawford  and  his  brave  band  advanced, 
and  when  they  had  got  within  a  short  distance 
from  the  town,  they  were  met  by  a  white  man, 
with  a  flag  of  truce  from  the  Indians,  who  proposed 
to  Col.  Crawford  that  if  he  would  surrender  him- 
self and  his  men  to  the  Indians,  their  lives  should 
be  spared;  but,  that  if  they  persisted  in  their  un- 
dertaking, and  attacked  the  town,  they  should  all 
be  massacred  to  a  man. 

Crawford,  while  hearing  the  proposition,  atten- 
tively surveyed  its  bearer,  and  recognized  in  his 
features  one  of  his  former  schoolmates  and  com- 
panions, with  whom  he  was  perfectly  acquainted,  / 
by  the  name  of  Simon  Gurty.  Gurty,  but  a  short  j 
time  before  this,  had  been  a  soldier  in  the  Ameri- 
can army,  in  the  same  regiment  with  Crawford; 
but  on  the  account  of  his  not  having  received  the 
promotion  that  he  expected,  he  became  disaffect- 
ed— swore  an  eternal  war  with  his  countrymen,  fled 
to  the  Indians,  and  joined  them,  as  a  leader  well 
qualified  to  conduct  them  to  where  they  could  sa- 
tiate their  thirst  for  blood,  upon  the  innocent,  un- 
offending and  defenceless  settlers. 

Crawford  sternly  inquired  of  the  traitor  if  his 
name  was  not  Simon  Gurty;  and  being  answered 
in  the  affirmative,  he  informed  him  that  he  despi- 
sed the  offer  which  he  had  made;  and  that  he 
should  not  surrender  his  army  unless  he  should  be 
compelled  to  do  so,  by  a  superior  force. 

Gurty  returned,  and  Crawford  immediately 
commenced  an  engagement  that  lasted  till  night, 


no  LIFE  OF 

without  the  appearance  of  victory  on  either  side, 
when  the  firing  ceased,  and  the  combatants  on 
both  sides  retired  to  take  refreshment,  and  to  rest 
through  the  night.  Crawford  encamped  in  the 
woods  near  half  a  mile  from  the  town,  where,  after 
the  centinels  were  placed,  and  each  had  taken  his 
ration,  they  slept  on  their  arms,  that  they  might 
be  instantly  ready  in  case  they  should  be  attacked. 
The  stillness  of  death  hovered  over  the  little  army, 
and  sleep  relieved  the  whole,  except  the  wakeful 
centinels  who  vigilantly  attended  to  their  duty. — 
But  what  was  their  surprise,  when  they  found  late 
in  the  night,  that  they  were  surrounded  by  the  In- 
dians on  every  side,  except  a  narrow  space  be- 
tween them  and  the  town?  Every  man  was  under 
arms,  and  the  officers  instantly  consulted  each 
other  on  the  best  method  of  escaping;  for  they 
saw  that  to  fight,  would  be  useless,  and  that  to  sur- 
render, would  be  death. 

Crawford  proposed  to  retreat  through  the  ranks 
of  the  enemy  in  an  opposite  direction  from  the 
town,  as  being  the  most  sure  course  to  take.  Lt. 
Col.  Williamson  advised  to  march  directly  through 
the  town,  where  there  appeared  to  be  no  Indians, 
and  the  fires  were  yet  burning. 

There  was  no  time  or  place  for  debates:  Col. 
Crawford,  with  sixty  followers  retreated  on  the 
route  that  he  had  proposed  by  attempting  to  rush 
through  the  enemy;  but  they  had  no  sooner  got 
amongst  the  Indians  than  every  man  was  killed  or 
taken  prisoner!  Amongst  the  prisoners,  were  Col. 
Crawford,  and  Doct.  Night,  surgeon  of  the  regi- 

Lt.   Col.   Williamson,  with  the  remainder  of  the 


regiment,  together  with  the  wounded,  set  out  at  the 
same  time  that  Crawford  did,  went  through  the 
town  without  losing  a  man,  and  by  the  help  of 
good  guides  arrived  at  their  homes  in  safety. 

The  next  day  after  the  engagement  the  Indians 
disposed  of  all  their  prisoners  to  the  different  tribes, 
except  Col.  Crawford  and  Doct.  Night;  but  those 
unfortunate  men  were  reserved  for  a  more  cruel 
destiny.  A  council  was  immediately  held  on  San- 
dusky  plains,  consisting  of  all  the  Chiefs  and  war- 
riors, ranged  in  their  customary  order,  in  a  circular 
form;  and  Crawford  and  Night  were  brought  for- 
ward and  seated  in  the  centre  of  the  circle. 

The  council  being  opened,  the  Chiefs  began  to 
examine  Crawford  on  various  subjects  relative  to 
the  war.  At  length  they  enquired  who  conducted 
the  military  operations  of  the  American  army  on 
the  Ohio  and  Susquehannah  rivers,  during  the 
year  before;  and  who  had  led  that  army  against 
them  with  so  much  skill,  and  so  uniform  success? 
Crawford  very  honestly  and  without  suspecting  any 
harm  from  his  reply,  promptly  answered  that  he 
was  the  man  who  had  led  his  countrymen  to  victo- 
ry, who  had  driven  the  enemy  from  the  settlements, 
and  by  that  means  had  procured  a  great  degree  of 
happiness  to  many  of  his  fellow-citizens.  Up- 
on hearing  this,  a  Chief,  who  had  lost  a  son  in 
the  year  before,  in  a  battle  where  Colonel  Craw- 
ford commanded,  left  his  station  in  the  council, 
stepped  to  Crawford,  blacked  his  face,  and  at  the 
same  time  told  him  that  the  next  day  he  should 
be  burnt. 

The  council  was  immediately  dissolved  on  its 
hearing  the  sentence  from  the  Chief,  and  the  pris- 

ii2  LIFE  OF 

oners  were  taken  off  the  ground,  and  kept  in  cus- 
tody through  the  night.  Crawford  now  viewed 
his  fate  as  sealed;  and  despairing  of  ever  return- 
ing to  his  home  or  his  country,  only  dreaded  the 
tediousness  of  death,  as  commonly  inflicted  by  the 
savages,  and  earnestly  hoped  that  he  might  be 
despatched  at  a  single  blow. 

Early  the  next  morning,  the  Indians  assembled 
at  the  place  of  execution,124  and  Crawford  was  led 
to  the  post — the  goal  of  savage  torture,  to  which 
he  was  fastened.  The  post  was  a  stick  of  timber 
placed  firmly  in  the  ground,  having  an  arm  fram- 
ed in  at  the  top,  and  extending  some  six  or  eight 
feet  from  it,  like  the  arm  of  a  sign  post.  A  pile  of 
wood  containing  about  two  cords,  lay  a  few  feet 
from  the  place  where  he  stood,  which  he  was  in- 
formed was  to  be  kindled  into  a  fire  that  would 
burn  him  alive,  as  many  had  been  burnt  on  the 
same  spot,  who  had  been  much  less  deserving  than 

Gurty  stood  and  composedly  looked  on  the 
preparations  that  were  making  for  the  funeral  of 
one  of  his  former  playmates;  a  hero  by  whose  side 
he  had  fought;  of  a  man  whose  valor  had  won  lau- 
rels which,  if  he  could  have  returned,  would  have 
been  strewed  upon  his  grave,  by  his  grateful  coun- 
trymen. Dreading  the  agony  that  he  saw  he  was 
about  to  feel,  Crawford  used  every  argument  which 
his  perilous  situation  could  suggest  to  prevail  upon 
Gurty  to  ransom  him  at  any  price,  and  deliver  him 
(as  it  was  in  his  power,)  from  the  savages,  and 
their  torments.  Gurty  heard  his  prayers,  and  ex- 
postulations, and  saw  his  tears  with  indifference, 
and  finally  told  the  forsaken  victim  that  he  would 


not  procure  him  a  moment's  respite,  nor  afford  him 
the  most  trifling  assistance. 

The  Col.  was  then  bound,  stripped  naked  and 
tied  by  his  wrists  to  the  arm,  which  extended  hor- 
izontally from  the  post,  in  such  a  manner  that  his 
arms  were  extended  over  his  head,  with  his  feet 
just  standing  upon  the  ground.  This  being  done, 
the  savages  placed  the  wood  in  a  circle  around  him 
at  the  distance  of  a  few  feet,  in  order  that  his  misery 
might  be  protracted  to  the  greatest  length,  and 
then  kindled  it  in  a  number  of  places  at  the  same 
time.  The  flames  arose  and  the  scorching  heat 
became  almost  insupportable.  Again  he  prayed 
to  Gurty  in  all  the  anguish  of  his  torment,  to  res- 
cue him  from  the  fire,  or  shoot  him  dead  upon  the 
spot.  A  demoniac  smile  suffused  the  countenance 
of  Gurty,  while  he  calmly  replied  to  the  dying 
suppliant,  that  he  had  no  pity  for  his  sufferings; 
but  that  he  was  then  satisfying  that  spirit  of  re- 
venge, which  for  a  long  time  he  had  hoped  to 
have  an  opportunity  to  wreak  upon  him.  Nature 
now  almost  exhausted  from  the  intensity  of  the 
heat,  he  settled  down  a  little,  when  a  squaw  threw 
coals  of  fire  and  embers  upon  him,  which  made 
him  groan  most  piteously,  while  the  whole  camp 
rung  with  exultation.  During  the  execution  they 
manifested  all  the  exstacy  of  a  complete  triumph. 
Poor  Crawford  soon  died  and  was  entirely  consum- 

Thus  ended  the  life  of  a  patriot  and  hero,  who 
had  been  an  intimate  with  Gen.  Washington,  and 
who  shared  in  an  eminent  degree  the  confidence 
of  that  great,  good  man,  to  whom,  in  the  time  of 
revolutionary  perils,  the  sons  of  legitimate  freedom 



looked  with  a  degree  of  faith  in  his  mental  resour- 
ces, unequalled  in  the  history  of  the  world. 

That  tragedy  being  ended,  Doct.  Night  was  in- 
formed that  on  the  next  day  he  should  be  burnt 
in  the  same  manner  that  his  comrade  Crawford 
had  been,  at  Lower  Sandusky.  Hiokatoo,  who 
had  been  a  leading  chief  in  the  battle  with,  and 
in  the  execution  of  Crawford,  painted  Doct.  Night's 
face  black,  and  then  bound  and  gave  him  up  to 
two  able  bodied  Indians  to  conduct  to  the  place  of 

They  set  off  with  him  immediately,  and  travel- 
led till  towards  evening,  when  they  halted  to  en- 
camp till  morning.  The  afternoon  had  been  very 
rainy,  and  the  storm  still  continued,  which  render- 
ed it  very  difficult  for  the  Indians  to  kindle  a  fire. 
Night  observing  the  difficulty  under  which  they  la- 
bored, made  them  to  understand  by  signs,  that  if 
they  would  unbind  him,  he  would  assist  them. — 
They  accordingly  unloosed  him,  and  he  soon  suc- 
ceeded in  making  a  fire  by  the  application  of  small 
dry  stuff  which  he  was  at  considerable  trouble  to 
procure.  While  the  Indians  were  warming  them- 
selves, the  Doct.  continued  to  gather  wood  to  last 
through  the  night,  and  in  doing  this,  he  found  a 
club  which  he  placed  in  a  situation  from  whence 
he  could  take  it  conveniently  whenever  an  oppor- 
tunity should  present  itself,  in  which  he  could  use 
it  effectually.  The  Indians  continued  warming, 
till  at  length  the  Doct.  saw  that  they  had  placed 
themselves  in  a  favorable  position  for  the  execu- 
tion of  his  design,  when,  stimulated  by  the  love  of 
life,  he  cautiously  took  his  club  and  at  two  blows 
knocked  them  both  down.  Determined  to  finish 


the  work  of  death  which  he  had  so  well  begun,  he 
drew  one  of  their  scalping  knives,  with  which  he 
beheaded  and  scalped  them  both!  He  then  took 
a  rifle,  tomahawk,  and  some  ammunition,  and  di- 
rected his  course  for  home,  where  he  arrived  with- 
out having  experienced  any  difficulty  on  his  jour- 

The  next  morning,  the  Indians  took  the  track 
of  their  victim  and  his  attendants,  to  go  to  Lower 
Sandusky,  and  there  execute  the  sentence  which 
they  had  pronounced  upon  him.  But  what  was 
their  surprise  and  disappointment,  when  they  ar- 
rived at  the  place  of  encampment,  where  they 
found  their  trusty  friends  scalped  and  decapitated, 
and  that  their  prisoner  had  made  his  escape? — 
Chagrined  beyond  measure,  they  immediately  sep- 
arated, and  went  in  every  direction  in  pursuit  of 
their  prey;  but  after  having  spent  a  number  of 
days  unsuccessfully,  they  gave  up  the  chase,  and 
returned  to  their  encampment.* 

*I  have  understood,  (from  unauthenticated  sources  how- 
ever,) that  soon  after  the  revolutionary  war,  Doct.  Night 
published  a  pamphlet,  containing  an  account  of  the  battle 
at  Sandusky,  and  of  his  own  sufferings.126  My  information 
on  this  subject,  was  derived  from  a  different  quarter. 

The  subject  of  this  narrative  in  giving  the  account  of 
her  last  husband,  Hiokatoo,  referred  us  to  Mr.  George 
Jemison,  who,  (as  it  will  be  noticed)  lived  on  her  land  a 
number  of  years,  and  who  had  frequently  heard  the  old 
Chief  relate  the  story  of  his  life;  particularly  that  part 
which  related  to  his  military  career.  Mr.  Jemison,  on  be- 
ing enquired  of,  gave  the  foregoing  account,  partly  from  his 
own  personal  knowledge,  and  the  remainder,  from  the  ac- 
count given  by  Hiokatoo. 

Mr.  Jemison  was  in  the  battle,  was  personally  acquaint- 
ed with  Col.  Crawford,  and  one  that  escaped  with  Lt.  Col. 

ii6  LIFE  OF 

In  the  time  of  the  French  war,  in  an  engage- 
ment that  took  place  on  the  Ohio  river,  Hiokatoo 
took  a  British  Col.  by  the  name  of  Simon  Canton, 
whom  he  carried  to  the  Indian  encampment.  A 
council  was  held,  and  the  Col.  was  sentenced  to 
suffer  death,  by  being  tied  on  a  wild  colt,  with  his 
face  towards  its  tail,  and  then  having  the  colt 
turned  loose  to  run  where  it  pleased.  He  was  ac- 
cordingly tied  on,  and  the  colt  let  loose,  agreea- 
ble to  the  sentence.  The  colt  run  two  days  and 
then  returned  with  its  rider  yet  alive.  The  In- 
dians, thinking  that  he  would  never  die  in  that 
way,  took  him  off,  and  made  him  run  the  gaunt- 
let three  times;  but  in  the  last  race  a  squaw  knock- 
ed him  down,  and  he  was  supposed  to  have  been 
dead.  He,  however,  recovered,  and  was  sold  for 
fifty  dollars  to  a  Frenchman,  who  sent  him  as  a 
prisoner  to  Detroit.  On  the  return  of  the  French- 
man to  Detroit,  the  Col.  besought  him  to  ransom 
him,  and  give,  or  set  him  at  liberty,  with  so  much 
warmth,  and  promised  with  so  much  solemnity,  to 
reward  him  as  one  of  the  best  of  benefactors,  if  he 
would  let  him  go,  that  the  Frenchman  took  his 
word,  and  sent  him  home  to  his  family.  The  Col. 
remembered  his  promise,  and  in  a  short  time  sent 
his  deliverer  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars,  as  a  re- 
ward for  his  generosity. 

Since    the    commencement    of   the    revolutionary 

Williamson.  We  have  no  doubt  of  the  truth  of  the  state- 
ment, and  have  therefore  inserted  the  whole  account,  as  an 
addition  to  the  historical  facts  which  are  daily  coming  into 
a  state  of  preservation,  in  relation  to  the  American  Revo- 



war,  Hiokatoo  has  been  in  seventeen  campaigns, 
four  of  which  were  in  the  Cherokee  war.  He  was 
so  great  an  enemy  to  the  Cherokees,  and  so  fully 
determined  upon  their  subjugation,  that  on  his 
march  to  their  country,  he  raised  his  own  army 
for  those  four  campaigns,  and  commanded  it;  and 
also  superintended  its  subsistence.  In  one  of  those 
campaigns,  which  continued  two  whole  years  with- 
out intermission,  he  attacked  his  enemies  on  the 
Mobile,  drove  them  to  the  country  of  the  Creek 
Nation,  where  he  continued  to  harrass  them,  till 
being  tired  of  war,  he  returned  to  his  family.  He 
brought  home  a  great  number  of  scalps,  which  he 
had  taken  from  the  enemy,  and  ever  seemed  to 
possess  an  unconquerable  will  that  the  Cherokees 
might  be  utterly  destroyed.  Towards  the  close  of 
his  last  fighting  in  that  country,  he  took  two  squaws, 
whom  he  sold  on  his  way  home  for  money  to  de- 
fray the  expense  of  his  journey. 

Hiokatoo  was  about  six  feet  four  or  five  inches 
high,  large  boned,  and  rather  inclined  to  leanness. 
He  was  very  stout  and  active,  for  a  man  of  his  size, 
for  it  was  said  by  himself  and  others,  that  he  had 
never  found  an  Indian  who  could  keep  up  with 
him  on  __  a  race,  or  throw  him  at  wrestling.  His 
eye  was  quick  and  penetrating;  and  his  voice  was 
of  that  harsh  and  powerful  kind,  which,  amongst 
Indians,  always  commands  attention.  His  health 
had  been  uniformly  good.  He  never  was  confin- 
ed by  sickness,  till  he  was  attacked  with  the  con- 
sumption, four  years  before  his  death.  And,  al- 
though he  had,  from  his  earliest  days,  been  mur- 
ed to  almost  constant  fatigue,  and  exposure  to  the 
inclemency  of  the  weather,  in  the  open  air,  he 

ii8  LIFE  OF 

seemed  to  lose  the  vigor  of  the  prime  of  life  only 
by  the  natural  decay  occasioned  by  old  age. 


Her  Troubles  Renewed. — John's  Jealousy  towards  his 
brother  Jesse. — Circumstances  attending  the  Murder 
of  Jesse  Jemison. — Her  Grief. — His  Funeral. — Age 
— Filial  Kindness,  &c. 

BEING  now  left  a  widow  in  my  old  age,  to  mourn 
the  loss  of  a  husband,  who  had  treated  me  well, 
and  with  whom  I  had  raised  five  children,  and  hav- 
ing suffered  the  loss  of  an  affectionate  son,  I  fond- 
ly fostered  the  hope  that  my  melancholy  vicissi- 
tudes had  ended,  and  that  the  remainder  of  my 
time  would  be  characterized  by  nothing  unpropi- 
tious.  My  children,  dutiful  and  kind,  lived  near 
me,  and  apparently  nothing  obstructed  our  happi- 

But  a  short  time,  however,  elapsed  after  my 
husband's  death,  before  my  troubles  were  renewed 
with  redoubled  severity. 

John's  hands  having  been  once  stained  in  the 
blood  of  a  brother,  it  was  not  strange  that  after  his 
acquital,  every  person  of  his  acquaintance  should 
shun  him,  from  a  fear  of  his  repeating  upon  them 
the  same  ceremony  that  he  had  practised  upon 
Thomas.  My  son  Jesse,  went  to  Mt.  Morris,  a 
few  miles  from  home,  on  business,  in  the  winter  af- 
ter the  death  of  his  father;  and  it  so  happened 
that  his  brother  John  was  there,  who  requested 


Jesse  to  come  home  with  him.  Jesse,  fearing  that 
John  would  commence  a  quarrel  with  him  on  the 
way,  declined  the  invitation,  and  tarried  over 

From  that  time  John  conceived  himself  despised 
by  Jesse,  and  was  highly  enraged  at  the  treat- 
ment which  he  had  received.  Very  little  was  said, 
however,  and  it  all  passed  off,  apparently,  till  some- 
time in  the  month  of  May,  1812,  at  which  time 
Mr.  Robert  Whaley,  who  lived  in  the  town  of  Cas- 
tile, within  four  miles  of  me,  came  to  my  house 
early  on  Monday  morning,  to  hire  George  Chongo, 
my  son-in-law,  and  John  and  Jesse,  to  go  that  day 
and  help  him  slide  a  quantity  of  boards  from  the 
top  of  the  hill  to  the  river,  where  he  calculated  to 
build  a  raft  of  them  for  market. 

They  all  concluded  to  go  with  Mr.  Whaley,  and 
made  ready  as  soon  as  possible.  But  before  they 
set  out  I  charged  them  not  to  drink  any  whiskey; 
for  I  was  confident  that  if  they  did,  they  would 
surely  have  a  quarrel  in  consequence  of  it.  They 
went  and  worked  till  almost  night,  when  a  quarrel 
ensued  between  Chongo  and  Jesse,  in  consequence 
of  the  whiskey  that  they  had  drank  through  the 
day,  which  terminated  in  a  battle,  and  Chongo  got 

When  Jesse  had  got  through  with  Chongo,  he 
told  Mr.  Whaley  that  he  would  go  home,  and  di- 
rectly went  off.  He,  however,  went  but  a  few  rods 
before  he  stopped  and  lay  down  by  the  side  of  a 
log  to  wait,  (as  was  supposed,)  for  company.  John, 
as  soon  as  Jesse  was  gone,  went  to  Mr.  Whaley, 
with  his  knife  in  his  hand,  and  bade  him  jogo; 
(i.  e.  be  gone,)  at  the  same  time  telling  him  that 

120  LIFE  OF 

Jesse  was  a  bad  man.  Mr.  Whaley,  seeing  that 
his  countenance  was  changed,  and  that  he  was  de- 
termined upon  something  desperate,  was  alarmed 
for  his  own  safety,  and  turned  towards  home,  leav- 
ing Chongo  on  the  ground  drunk,  near  to  where 
Jesse  had  lain,  who  by  this  time  had  got  up,  and 
was  advancing  towards  John.  Mr.  Whaley  was 
soon  out  of  hearing  of  them;  but  some  of  his 
workmen  staid  till  it  was  dark.  Jesse  came  up  to 
John,  and  said  to  him,  you  want  more  whiskey, 
and  more  fighting,  and  after  a  few  words  went  at 
him,  to  try  in  the  first  place  to  get  away  his  knife. 
In  this  he  did  not  succeed,  and  they  parted.  By 
this  time  the  night  had  come  on,  and  it  was  dark. 
Again  they  clenched  and  at  length  in  their  strug- 
gle they  both  fell.  John,  having  his  knife  in  his 
hand,  came  under,  and  in  that  situation  gave  Jesse 
a  fatal  stab  with  his  knife,  and  repeated  the  blows 
till  Jesse  cried  out,  brother,  you  have  killed  me, 
quit  his  hold  and  settled  back  upon  the  ground. — 
Upon  hearing  this,  John  left  him  and  came  to 
Thomas'  widow's  house,  told  them  that  he  had 
been  fighting  with  their  uncle,  whom  he  had  killed, 
and  showed  them  his  knife. 

Next  morning  as  soon  as  it  was  light,  Thomas' 
and  John's  children  came  and  told  me  that  Jesse 
was  dead  in  the  woods,  and  also  informed  me  how 
he  came  by  his  death.  John  soon  followed  them 
and  informed  me  himself  of  all  that  had  taken  place 
between  him  and  his  brother,  and  seemed  to  be 
somewhat  sorrowful  for  his  conduct.  You  can  bet- 
ter imagine  what  my  feelings  were  than  I  can  de- 
scribe them.  My  darling  son,  my  youngest  child, 


him  on  whom  I  depended,  was  dead;  and  I  in  my 
old  age  left  destitute  of  a  helping  hand! 

As  soon  as  it  was  consistent  for  me,  I  got  Mr. 
George  Jemison,  (of  whom  I  shall  have  occasion 
to  speak,)  to  go  with  his  sleigh  to  where  Jesse  was, 
and  bring  him  home,  a  distance  of  3  or  4  miles. 
My  daughter  Polly  arrived  at  the  fatal  spot  first: 
we  got  there  soon  after  her;  though  I  went  the 
whole  distance  on  foot.  By  this  time,  Chongo, 
(who  was  left  on  the  ground  drunk  the  night  be- 
fore,) had  become  sober  and  sensible  of  the  great 
misfortune  which  had  happened  to  our  family. 

I  was  overcome  with  grief  at  the  sight  of  my 
murdered  son,  and  so  far  lost  the  command  of  my- 
self as  to  be  almost  frantic;  and  those  who  were 
present  were  obliged  to  hold  me  from  going  near 

On  examining  the  body  it  was  found  that  it  had 
received  eighteen  wounds  so  deep  and  large  that  it 
was  believed  that  either  of  them  would  have  pro- 
ved mortal.  The  corpse  was  carried  to  my  house, 
and  kept  till  the  Thursday  following,  when  it  was 
buried  after  the  manner  of  burying  white  people. 

Jesse  was  twenty-seven  or  eight  years  old  when 
he  was  killed.  His  temper  had  been  uniformly 
very  mild  and  friendly;  and  he  was  inclined  to 
copy  after  the  white  people;  both  in  his  manners 
and  dress.  Although  he  was  naturally  temperate, 
he  occasionally  became  intoxicated;  but  never  was 
quarrelsome  or  mischievous.  With  the  white  peo- 
ple he  was  intimate,  and  learned  from  them  their 
habits  of  industry,  which  he  was  fond  of  practising, 
especially  when  my  comfort  demanded  his  labor. 
As  I  have  observed,  it  is  the  custom  amongst  the 

122  LIFE  OF 

Indians,  for  the  women  to  perform  all  the  labor  in, 
and  out  of  doors,  and  I  had  the  whole  to  do,  with 
the  help  of  my  daughters,  till  Jesse  arrived  to  a 
sufficient  age  to  assist  us.  He  was  disposed  to  la- 
bor in  the  cornfield,  to  chop  my  wood,  milk  my 
cows,  and  attend  to  any  kind  of  business  that  would 
make  my  task  the  lighter.  On  the  account  of  his 
having  been  my  youngest  child,  and  so  willing  to 
help  me,  I  am  sensible  that  I  loved  him  better  than 
I  did  either  of  my  other  children.  After  he  be- 
gan to  understand  my  situation,  and  the  means  of 
rendering  it  more  easy,  I  never  wanted  for  any 
thing  that  was  in  his  power  to  bestow;  but  since 
his  death,  as  I  have  had  all  my  labor  to  perform 
alone,  I  have  constantly  seen  hard  times. 

Jesse  shunned  the  company  of  his  brothers,  and 
the  Indians  generally,  and  never  attended  their 
frolics;  and  it  was  supposed  that  this,  together 
with  my  partiality  for  him,  were  the  causes  which 
excited  in  John  so  great  a  degree  of  envy,  that 
nothing  short  of  death  would  satisfy  it.127 


Mrs.  Jemison  is  informed  that  she  has  a  Cousin  in  the 
Neighborhood,  by  the  name  of  George  Jemison. — 
His  Poverty. — Her  Kindness. — His  Ingratitude. — 
Her  Trouble  from  Land  Speculation. — Her  Cousin 
moves  off. 

A  year  or  two  before  the  death  of  my  husband, 
Capt.  H.  Jones  sent  me  word,  that  a  cousin  of  mine 


was  then  living  in  Leicester,128  (a  few  miles  from 
Gardow,)  by  the  name  of  George  Jemison,  and  as 
he  was  very  poor,  thought  it  advisable  for  me  to  go 
and  see  him,  and  take  him  home  to  live  with  me 
on  my  land.  My  Indian  friends  were  pleased  to 
hear  that  one  of  my  relatives  was  so  near,  and  al- 
so advised  me  to  send  for  him  and  his  family  im- 
mediately. I  accordingly  had  him  and  his  family 
moved  into  one  of  my  houses,  in  the  month  of 
March,  1 8 10. 

He  said  that  he  was  my  father's  brother's  son — 
that  his  father  did  not  leave  Europe,  till  after  the 
French  war  in  America,  and  that  when  he  did 
come  over,  he  settled  in  Pennsylvania,  where  he 
died.  George  had  no  personal  knowledge  of  my 
father;  but  from  information,  was  confident  that 
the  relationship  which  he  claimed  between  himself 
and  me,  actually  existed.  Although  I  had  never 
before  heard  of  my  father  having  had  but  one 
brother,  (him  who  was  killed  at  Fort  Necessity,)  yet 
I  knew  that  he  might  have  had  others,  and,  as  the 
story  of  George  carried  with  it  a  probability  that 
it  was  true,  I  received  him  as  a  kinsman,  and  treat- 
ed him  with  every  degree  of  friendship  which  his 
situation  demanded.* 

I  found  that  he  was  destitute  of  the  means  of 
subsistence,  and  in  debt  to  the  amount  of  seventy 
dollars,  without  the  ability  to  pay  one  cent.  He 
had  no  cow,  and  finally,  was  completely  poor.  I 

*Mrs.  Jemison  is  now  confident  that  George  Jemison  is 
not  her  cousin,  and  thinks  that  he  claimed  the  relationship, 
only  to  gain  assistance:  But  the  old  gentleman,  who  is 
now  living,  is  certain  that  his  and  her  father  were  broth- 
ers, as  before  stated. 

i24  LIFE  OF 

paid  his  debts  to  the  amount  of  seventy-two  dollars, 
and  bought  him  a  cow,  for  which  I  paid  twenty 
dollars,  and  a  sow  and  pigs,  that  I  paid  eight  dol- 
lars for.  I  also  paid  sixteen  dollars  for  pork  that 
I  gave  him,  and  furnished  him  with  other  provis- 
ions and  furniture;  so  that  his  family  was  comfort- 
able. As  he  was  destitute  of  a  team,  I  furnished 
him  with  one,  and  also  supplied  him  with  tools  for 
farming.  In  addition  to  all  this,  I  let  him  have  one 
of  Thomas*  cows,  for  two  seasons. 

My  only  object  in  mentioning  his  poverty,  and 
the  articles  with  which  I  supplied  him,  is  to  show 
how  ungrateful  a  person  can  be  for  favors,  and 
how  soon  a  kind  benefactor  will,  to  all  appearance, 
be  forgotten. 

Thus  furnished  with  the  necessary  implements 
of  husbandry,  a  good  team,  and  as  much  land  as 
he  could  till,  he  commenced  farming  on  my  flats, 
and  for  some  time  labored  well.  At  length,  how- 
ever, he  got  an  idea  that  if  he  could  become  the 
owner  of  a  part  of  my  reservation,  he  could  live 
more  easy,  and  certainly  be  more  rich,  and  accor- 
dingly set  himself  about  laying  a  plan  to  obtain  it, 
in  the  easiest  manner  possible. 

I  supported  Jemison  and  his  family  eight  years, 
and  probably  should  have  continued  to  have  done 
so  to  this  day,  had  it  not  been  for  the  occurrence 
of  the  following  circumstance. 

When  he  had  lived  with  me  some  six  or  seven 
years,  a  friend  of  mine  told  me  that  as  Jemison 
was  my  cousin,  and  very  poor,  I  ought  to  give  him 
a  piece  of  land  that  he  might  have  something 
whereon  to  live,  that  he  would  call  his  own.  My 
friend  and  Jemison  were  then  together  at  my 


house,  prepared  to  complete  a  bargain.  I  asked 
how  much  land  he  wanted?  Jemison  said  that  he 
should  be  glad  to  receive  his  old  field  (as  he  call- 
ed it)  containing  about  fourteen  acres,  and  a  new 
one  that  contained  twenty-six. 

I  observed  to  them  that  as  I  was  incapable  of 
transacting  business  of  that  nature,  I  would  wait 
till  Mr.  Thomas  Clute,  (a  neighbor  on  whom  I 
depended,)  should  return  from  Albany,  before  I 
should  do  any  thing  about  it.  To  this  Jemison 
replied  that  if  I  waited  till  Mr.  Clute  returned,  he 
should  not  get  the  land  at  all,  and  appeared  very 
anxious  to  have  the  business  closed  without  delay. 
On  my  part,  I  felt  disposed  to  give  him  some  land, 
but  knowing  my  ignorance  of  writing,  feared  to  do 
it  alone,  lest  they  might  include  as  much  land  as 
they  pleased,  without  my  knowledge. 

They  then   read  the  deed  which  my  friend   had 
prepared   before  he  came  from  home,   describing  a 
piece  of  land  by  certain  bounds  that  were  a  speci- 
fied  number  of  chains  and   links  from  each  other. 
Not  understanding  the  length  of  a  chain  or  link,  I 
described  the  bounds  of  a  piece  of  land  that  I  in- 
tended Jemison  should   have,  which  they  said  was 
just    the    same    that    the    deed    contained    and    no 
more.     I  told  them  that  the  deed  must  not  include 
j  a   lot  that  was   called   the   Steele   place,   and   they 
j  assured    me   that   it   did    not.     Upon   this,    putting 
\  confidence    in    them    both,    I    signed    the    deed    to 
George     Jemison,     containing,     and     conveying     to 
him  as  I  supposed,  forty  acres  of  land.     The  deed 
^    being   completed   they   charged   me   never  to   men- 
i    tion  the   bargain  which   I   had   then   made  to   any 
y  person;    because   if  I   did,  they  said  it  would   spoil 


126  LIFE  OF 

the  contract.  The  whole  matter  was  afterwards 
disclosed;  when  it  was  found  that  that  deed  in-  i 
stead  of  containing  only  forty  acres,  contained  four 
hundred,  and  that  one  half  of  it  actually  belonged 
to  my  friend,  as  it  had  been  given  to  him  by  Je- 
mison  as  a  reward  for  his  trouble  in  procuring  the 
deed,  in  the  fraudulent  manner  above  mentioned.  • 

My  friend,  however,  by  the  advice  of  some  well  j 
disposed    people,    awhile    afterwards    gave    up    his  j 
claim;    but  Jemison  held   his  till  he   sold   it  for  a  * 
trifle  to  a  gentleman  in  the  south  part  of  Genesee 

Sometime   after   the   death   of  my   son   Thomas, 
one  of  his   sons   went  to  Jemison  to  get  the  cow 
that  I  had  let  him  have  two  years;    but  Jemison  i 
refused  to  let  her  go,  and  struck  the  boy  so  violent  \ 
a   blow  as  to   almost  kill   him.     Jemison  then   run 
to  Jellis  Clute,  Esq.  to  procure  a  warrant  to  take 
the    boy;    but  Young  King,  an  Indian  Chief,  went 
down  to  Squawky  hill  to  Esq.  Clute's,  and  settled 
the  affair  by  Jemison's  agreeing  never  to  use  that 
club    again.     Having    satisfactorily    found    out    the 
friendly  129  disposition  of  my  cousin  towards  me,  I  gojt/ 
him  off  my  premises  as  soon  as  possible. 


Another  Family  Affliction.  —  Her  son  John's  Occupa- 
tion.— He  goes  to  Buffalo — Returns. — Great  Slide  by 
him  considered  Ominous — Trouble,  &c. — He  goes  to 
Squawky  Hill — Quarrels — Is  murdered  by  two  In- 
dians.— His  Funeral — Mourners,  &c. — His  Disposi- 


tion. — Ominous  Dream. — Black  Chief's  Advice,  &c. 
— His  Widows  and  Family. — His  Age. — His  Mur- 
derers flee. — Her  Advice  to  them. — They  set  out  to 
leave  their  Country. — Their  Uncle's  Speech  to  them 
on  parting. — They  return. — Jack  proposes  to  Doctor 
to  kill  each  other. — Doctor's  Speech  in  Reply. — 
Jack's  Suicide. — Doctor's  Death. 

TROUBLE  seldom  comes  single.  While  George 
Jemison  was  busily  engaged  in  his  pursuit  of  wealth 
at  my  expence,  another  event  of  a  much  more  se- 
rious nature  occurred,  which  added  greatly  to  my 
afflictions,  and  consequently  destroyed,  at  least  a 
part  of  the  happiness  that  I  had  anticipated  was 
laid  up  in  the  archives  of  Providence,  to  be  dis- 
pensed on  my  old  age. 

My  son  John,  was  a  doctor,  considerably  cele- 
brated amongst  the  Indians  of  various  tribes,  for 
his  skill  in  curing  their  diseases,  by  the  adminis- 
tration of  roots  and  herbs,  which  he  gathered  in 
the  forests,  and  other  places  where  they  had  been 
planted  by  the  hand  of  nature. 

In  the  month  of  April,  or  first  of  May,  1817,  he 
was  called  upon  to  go  to  Buffalo,  Cattaraugus  and 
Allegany,  to  cure  some  who  were  sick.  He  went, 
and  was  absent  about  two  months.  When  he  re- 
turned, he  observed  the  Great  Slide  of  the  bank  of 
Genesee  river,  a  short  distance  above  my  house, 
which  had  taken  place  during  his  absence;  and 
conceiving  that  circumstance  to  be  ominous  of  his 
own  death,  called  at  his  sister  Nancy's,  told  her 
that  he  should  live  but  a  few  days,  and  wept  bitter- 
ly at  the  near  approach  of  his  dissolution.  Nancy 
endeavored  to  persuade  him  that  his  trouble  was 
imaginary,  and  that  he  ought  not  to  be  affected  by 

128  LIFE  OF 

a  fancy  which  was  visionary.  Her  arguments  were 
ineffectual,  and  afforded  no  alleviation  to  his  men- 
tal sufferings.  From  his  sister's,  he  went  to  his 
own  house,  where  he  stayed  only  two  nights,  and 
then  went  to  Squawky  Hill  to  procure  money,  with 
which  to  purchase  flour  for  the  use  of  his  family. 

While  at  Squawky  Hill  he  got  into  the  compa- 
ny of  two  Squawky  Hill  Indians,  whose  names 
were  Doctor  and  Jack,  with  whom  he  drank  free- 
ly, and  in  the  afternoon  had  a  desperate  quarrel, 
in  which  his  opponents,  (as  it  was  afterwards  un- 
derstood,) agreed  to  kill  him.  The  quarrel  ended, 
and  each  appeared  to  be  friendly.  John  bought 
some  spirits,  of  which  they  all  drank,  and  then  set 
out  for  home.  John  and  an  Allegany  Indian  were 
on  horseback,  and  Doctor  and  Jack  were  on  foot. 
It  was  dark  when  they  set  out.  They  had  not 
proceeded  far,  when  Doctor  and  Jack  commenced 
another  quarrel  with  John,  clenched  and  dragged 
him  off  his  horse,  and  then  with  a  stone  gave  him 
so  severe  a  blow  on  his  head,  that  some  of  his 
brains  were  discharged  from  the  wound.  The  Al- 
legany Indian,  fearing  that  his  turn  would  come 
next,  fled  for  safety  as  fast  as  possible. 

John  recovered  a  little  from  the  shock  he  had 
received,  and  endeavored  to  get  to  an  old  hut  that 
stood  near;  but  they  caught  him,  and  with  an  axe 
cut  his  throat,  and  beat  out  his  brains,  so  that  when 
he  was  found  the  contents  of  his  skull  were  lying 
on  his  arms. 

Some  squaws,  who  heard  the  uproar,  ran  to  find 
out  the  cause  of  it;  but  before  they  had  time  to 
offer  their  assistance,  the  murderers  drove  them 
into  a  house,  and  threatened  to  take  their  lives  if 

sHflttf  fl  ii.a 



£>  *  2  &  £ 


a  g  §  «  s~£ 

i  -3  f  i  3  tit H          PI 


^  1?  «^W -     •«  ^  S 

/f^-ff^B  ifr^S  ^ 

^*  «;W.-«ut_       ./-«N*^^*. 


o->  ,2L  «k 



«t,  <*5 



they  did  not  stay  there,  or  if  they  made  any 

Next  morning,  Esq.  Clute  sent  me  word  that 
John  was  dead,  and  also  informed  me  of  the  means 
by  which  his  life  was  taken.  A  number  of  people 
went  from  Gardow  to  where  the  body  lay,  and 
Doct.  Levi  Brundridge  brought  it  up  home,  where 
the  funeral  was  attended  after  the  manner  of  the 
white  people.  Mr.  Benjamin  Luther,  and  Mr. 
William  Wiles,  preached  a  sermon,  and  perform- 
ed the  funeral  services;  and  myself  and  family 
followed  the  corpse  to  the  grave  as  mourners.  I 
had  now  buried  my  three  sons,  who  had  been 
snatched  from  me  by  the  hands  of  violence,  when 
I  least  expected  it. 

Although  John  had  taken  the  life  of  his  two 
brothers,  and  caused  me  unspeakable  trouble  and 
grief,  his  death  made  a  solemn  impression  upon  my 
mind,  and  seemed,  in  addition  to  my  former  mis- 
fortunes, enough  to  bring  down  my  grey  hairs  with 
sorrow  to  the  grave.  Yet,  on  a  second  thought,  I 
could  not  mourn  for  him  as  I  had  for  my  other 
sons,  because  I  knew  that  his  death  was  just,  and 
what  he  had  deserved  for  a  long  time,  from  the 
hand  of  justice. 

John's  vices  were  so  great  and  so  aggravated, 
that  I  have  nothing  to  say  in  his  favor:  yet,  as  a 
mother,  I  pitied  him  while  he  lived,  and  have  ever 
felt  a  great  degree  of  sorrow  for  him,  because  of 
his  bad  conduct. 

From  his  childhood,  he  carried  something  in  his 
features  indicative  of  an  evil  disposition,  that  would 
result  in  the  perpetration  of  enormities  of  some 
kind;  and  it  was  the  opinion  and  saying  of  Ebe- 
nezer  Allen,  that  he  would  be  a  bad  man,  and  be 

i3o  LIFE  OF 

guilty  of  some  crime  deserving  of  death.  There 
is  no  doubt  but  what  the  thoughts  of  murder  rank- 
led in  his  breast,  and  disturbed  his  mind  even  in 
his  sleep;  for  he  dreamed  that  he  had  killed 
Thomas  for  a  trifling  offence,  and  thereby  forfeited 
his  own  life.  Alarmed  at  the  revelation,  and  fear- 
ing that  he  might  in  some  unguarded  moment  de- 
stroy his  brother,  he  went  to  the  Black  Chief,  to 
whom  he  told  the  dream,  and  expressed  his  fears 
that  the  vision  would  be  verified.  Having  related 
the  dream,  .together  with  his  feelings  on  the  sub- 
ject, he  asked  for  the  best  advice  that  his  old  friend 
was  capable  of  giving,  to  prevent  so  sad  an  event. 
The  Black  Chief,  with  his  usual  promptitude,  told 
him,  that  from  the  nature  of  the  dream,  he  was 
fearful  that  something  serious  would  take  place 
between  him  and  Thomas;  and  advised  him  by 
all  means  to  govern  his  temper,  and  avoid  any 
quarrel  which  in  future  he  might  see  arising,  espe- 
cially if  Thomas  was  a  party.  John,  however,  did 
not  keep  the  good  counsel  of  the  Chief;  for  soon 
after  he  killed  Thomas,  as  I  have  related. 

John  left  two  wives  with  whom  he  had  lived  at 
the  same  time,  and  raised  nine  children.  His  wid- 
ows are  now  living  at  Caneadea  with  their  father, 
and  keep  their  children  with,  and  near  them.  His 
children  are  tolerably  white,  and  have  got  light 
colored  hair.  John  died  about  the  last  day  of 
June,  1817,  aged  54  years. 

Doctor  and  Jack  having  finished  their  murder- 
ous design,  fled  before  they  could  be  apprehend- 
ed, and  lay  six  weeks  in  the  woods  back  of  Canis- 
teo.  They  then  returned  and  sent  me  some  wam- 
pum by  Chongo,  (my  son-in-law,)  and  Sun-ge-waw  13° 


(that  is  Big  Kettle)  expecting  that  I  would  pardon 
them,  and  suffer  them  to  live  as  they  had  done 
with  their  tribe.  I  however,  v/ould  not  accept 
their  wampum,  but  returned  it  with  a  request,  that, 
rather  than  have  them  killed,  they  would  run  away 
and  keep  out  of  danger. 

On  their  receiving  back  the  wampum,  they  took 
my  advice,  and  prepared  to  leave  their  country  and 
people  immediately.  Their  relatives  accompa- 
nied them  a  short  distance  on  their  journey,  and 
when  about  to  part,  their  old  uncle,  the  Tall  Chief, 
addressed  them  in  the  following  pathetic  and  sen- 
timental speech: 

"Friends,  hear  my  voice! — When  the  Great 
Spirit  made  Indians,  he  made  them  all  good,  and 
gave  them  good  corn-fields;  good  rivers,  well  stor- 
ed with  fish;  good  forests,  filled  with  game  and 
good  bows  and  arrows.  But  very  soon  each  want- 
ed more  than  his  share,  and  Indians  quarrelled 
with  Indians,  and  some  were  killed,  and  others 
were  wounded.  Then  the  Great  Spirit  made  a 
very  good  word,  and  put  it  in  every  Indians  breast, 
to  tell  us  when  we  have  done  good,  or  when  we 
have  done  bad;  and  that  word  has  never  told  a 

"Friends!  whenever  you  have  stole,  or  got 
drunk,  or  lied,  that  good  word  has  told  you  that 
you  were  bad  Indians,  and  made  you  afraid  of 
good  Indians;  and  made  you  ashamed  and  look 

"Friends!  your  crime  is  greater  than  all  those: 
— you  have  killed  an  Indian  in  a  time  of  peace; 
and  made  the  wind  hear  his  groans,  and  the  earth 
drink  his  blood.  You  are  bad  Indians!  Yes,  you 

i32  LIFE  OF 

are  very  bad  Indians;  and  what  can  you  do?  If 
you  go  into  the  woods  to  live  alone,  the  ghost  of 
John  Jemison  will  follow  you,  crying,  blood!  blood! 
and  will  give  you  no  peace!  If  you  go  to  the  land 
of  your  nation,  there  that  ghost  will  attend  you,  and 
say  to  your  relatives,  see  my  murderers!  If  you 
plant,  it  will  blast  your  corn;  if  you  hunt,  it  will 
scare  your  game;  and  when  you  are  asleep,  its 
groans,  and  the  sight  of  an  avenging  tomahawk, 
will  awake  you!  What  can  you  do?  Deserving 
of  death,  you  cannot  live  here;  and  to  fly  from 
your  country,  to  leave  all  your  relatives,  and  to 
abandon  all  that  you  have  known  to  be  pleasant 
and  dear,  must  be  keener  than  an  arrow,  more  bit- 
ter than  gall,  more  terrible  than  death!  And  how 
must  we  feel? — Your  path  will  be  muddy;  the 
woods  will  be  dark;  the  lightnings  will  glance 
down  the  trees  by  your  side,  and  you  will  start  at 
every  sound!  peace  has  left  you,  and  you  must  be 

"Friends,  hear  me,  and  take  my  advice.  Re- 
turn with  us  to  your  homes.  Offer  to  the  Great 
Spirit  your  best  wampum,  and  try  to  be  good  In- 
dians! And,  if  those  whom  you  have  bereaved 
shall  claim  your  lives  as  their  only  satisfaction,  sur- 
render them  cheerfully,  and  die  like  good  Indians. 
And — "  Here  Jack,  highly  incensed,  interrupted 
the  old  man,  and  bade  him  stop  speaking  or  he 
would  take  his  life.  Affrighted  at  the  appearance 
of  so  much  desperation,  the  company  hastened  to- 
wards home,  and  left  Doctor  and  Jack  to  consult 
their  own  feelings. 

As  soon  as  they  were  alone,  Jack  said  to  Doctor, 
"I  had  rather  die  here,  than  leave  my  country 


and  friends!  Put  the  muzzle  of  your  rifle  into  my 
mouth,  and  I  will  put  the  muzzle  of  mine  into 
yours,  and  at  a  given  signal  we  will  discharge  them, 
and  rid  ourselves  at  once  of  all  the  troubles  under 
which  we  now  labor,  and  satisfy  the  claims  which 
justice  holds  against  us." 

Doctor  heard  the  proposition,  and  after  a  mo- 
ment's pause,  made  the  following  reply: — "I  am 
as  sensible  as  you  can  be  of  the  unhappy  situation 
in  which  we  have  placed  ourselves.  We  are  bad 
Indians.  We  have  forfeited  our  lives,  and  must 
expect  in  some  way  to  atone  for  our  crime:  but, 
because  we  are  bad  and  miserable,  shall  we  make 
ourselves  worse?  If  we  were  now  innocent,  and  in 
a  calm  reflecting  moment  should  kill  ourselves, 
that  act  would  make  us  bad,  and  deprive  us  of  our 
share  of  the  good  hunting  in  the  land  where  our 
fathers  have  gone!  What  would  Little  Beard  *  say 
to  us  on  our  arrival  at  his  cabin?  He  would  say, 
'Bad  Indians!  Cowards!  You  were  afraid  to  wait 
till  we  wanted  your  help!  Go  (Jogo)  to  where 
snakes  will  lie  in  your  path;  where  the  panthers 
will  starve  you,  by  devouring  the  venison;  and 
where  you  will  be  naked  and  suffer  with  the  cold! 
Jogo,  (go,)  none  but  the  brave  and  good  Indians 
live  here!'  I  cannot  think  of  performing  an  act 
that  will  add  to  my  wretchedness.  It  is  hard 
enough  for  me  to  suffer  here,  and  have  good  hunt- 
ing hereafter — worse  to  lose  the  whole." 

Upon  this,  Jack  withdrew  his  proposal.  They 
went  on  about  two  miles,  and  then  turned  about 
and  came  home.  Guilty  and  uneasy,  they  lurked 

*  Little  Beard  was  a  Chief  who  died  in  1806. 



about  Squawky  Hill  near  a  fortnight,  and  then 
went  to  Cattaraugus,  and  were  gone  six  weeks. 
When  they  came  back,  Jack's  wife  earnestly  re- 
quested him  to  remove  his  family  to  Tonnewonta; 
but  he  remonstrated  against  her  project,  and  utter- 
ly declined  going.  His  wife  and  family,  however, 
tired  of  the  tumult  by  which  they  were  surround- 
ed, packed  up  their  effects  in  spite  of  what  he 
could  say,  and  went  off. 

Jack  deliberated  a  short  time  upon  the  proper 
course  for  himself  to  pursue,  and  finally,  rather 
than  leave  his  old  home,  he  ate  a  large  quantity 
of  muskrat  root,  and  died  in  10  or  12  hours.  His 
family  being  immediately  notified  of  his  death,  re- 
turned to  attend  the  burial,  and  is  yet  living  at 
Squawky  Hill. 

Nothing  was   ever  done  with   Doctor,   who   con- 
tinued to  live  quietly  at  Squawky  Hill  till   some- 
time in  the  year  1819,  when  he  died  of  Consum 


Micah  Brooks,  Esq.  volunteers  to  get  the  Title  to  her 
Land  confirmed  to  herself. — She  is  Naturalized. — 
Great  Council  of  Chiefs,  &c.  in  Sept.  1823. — She 
Disposes  of  her  Reservation. — Reserves  a  Tract  2 
miles  long,  and  I  mile  wide,  &c. — The  Considera- 
tion how  Paid,  &c. 

In  1816,  Micah  Brooks,  Esq.  of  Bloomfield,  On- 
tario county,  was   recommended  to  me   (as  it  was 


said)  by  a  Mr.  Ingles,  to  be  a  man  of  candor,  hon- 
esty and  integrity,  who  would  by  no  means  cheat 
me  out  of  a  cent.  Mr.  Brooks  soon  after,  came  to 
my  house  and  informed  me  that  he  was  disposed 
to  assist  me  in  regard  to  my  land,  by  procuring  a 
legislative  act  that  would  invest  me  with  full  power 
to  dispose  of  it  for  my  own  benefit,  and  give  as 
ample  a  title  as  could  be  given  by  any  citizen  of 
the  state.  He  observed  that  as  it  was  then  situated, 
it  was  of  but  little  value,  because  it  was  not  in  my 
power  to  dispose  of  it,  let  my  necessities  be  ever  so 
great.  He  then  proposed  to  take  the  agency  of 
the  business  upon  himself,  and  to  get  the  title  of 
one  half  of  my  reservation  vested  in  me  personally, 
upon  the  condition  that,  as  a  reward  for  his  servi- 
ces, I  would  give  him  the  other  half. 

I  sent  for  my  son  John,  who  on  being  consulted, 
objected  to  my  going  into  any  bargain  with  Mr. 
Brooks,  without  the  advice  and  consent  of  Mr. 
Thomas  Clute,  who  then  lived  on  my  land  and 
near  me.  Mr.  Clute  was  accordingly  called  on,  to 
whom  Mr.  Brooks  repeated  his  former  statement, 
and  added,  that  he  would  get  an  act  passed  in  the 
Congress  of  the  United  States,  that  would  invest 
me  with  all  the  rights  and  immunities  of  a  citizen, 
so  far  as  it  respected  my  property.  Mr.  Clute, 
suspecting  that  some  plan  was  in  operation  that 
would  deprive  me  of  my  possessions,  advised  me 
to  have  nothing  to  say  on  the  subject  to  Mr.  Brooks, 
till  I  had  seen  Esquire  Clute,  of  Squawky  Hill. 
Soon  after  this  Thomas  Clute  saw  Esq.  Clute,  who 
informed  him  that  the  petition  for  my  naturalization 
would  be  presented  to  the  Legislature  of  this  State, 
instead  of  being  sent  to  Congress;  and  that  the 

136  LIFE  OF 

object  would  succeed  to  his  and  my  satisfaction. 
Mr.  Clute  then  observed  to  his  brother,  Esq.  Clute, 
that  as  the  sale  of  Indian  lands,  which  had  been 
reserved,  belonged  exclusively  to  the  United  States, 
an  act  of  the  Legislature  of  New- York  could  have 
no  effect  in  securing  to  me  a  title  to  my  reservation, 
or  in  depriving  me  of  my  property.  They  finally 
agreed  that  I  should  sign  a  petition  to  Congress, 
praying  for  my  naturalization,  and  for  the  confirm- 
ation of  the  title  of  my  land  to  me,  my  heirs,  &c. 

Mr.  Brooks  came  with  the  petition:  I  signed  it, 
and  it  was  witnessed  by  Thomas  Clute,  and  two 
others,  and  then  returned  to  Mr.  Brooks,  who  pre- 
sented it  to  the  Legislature  of  this  state  at  its  session 
in  the  winter  of  1816 — 17.  On  the  I9th  of  April, 
1817,  an  act  was  passed  for  my  naturalization,  and 
ratifying  and  confirming  the  title  of  my  land,  agree- 
able to  the  tenor  of  the  petition,  which  act  Mr. 
Brooks  presented  to  me  on  the  first  day  of  May 

Thomas  Clute  having  examined  the  law,  told 
me  that  it  would  probably  answer,  though  it  was 
not  according  to  the  agreement  made  by  Mr. 
Brooks,  and  Esq.  Clute  and  himself,  for  me.  I 
then  executed  to  Micah  Brooks  and  Jellis  Clute,  a 
deed  of  all  my  land  lying  east  of  the  picket  line  on 
the  Gardow  reservation,  containing  about  7000 

It  is  proper  in  this  place  to  observe,  in  relation 
to  Mr.  Thomas  Clute,  that  my  son  John,  a  few 
months  before  his  death,  advised  me  to  take  him 
for  my  guardian,  (as  I  had  become  old  and  incapa- 
ble of  managing  my  property,)  and  to  compensate 
him  for  his  trouble  by  giving  him  a  lot  of  land  on 


the  west  side  of  my  reservation  where  he  should 
choose  it.  I  accordingly  took  my  son's  advice, 
and  Mr.  Clute  has  ever  since  been  faithful  and 
honest  in  all  his  advice  and  dealings  with,  and  for, 
myself  and  family. 

In  the  month  of  August,  1817,  Mr.  Brooks  and 
Esq.  Clute  again  came  to  me  with  a  request  that  I 
would  give  them  a  lease  of  the  land  which  I  had 
already  deeded  to  them,  together  with  the  other 
part  of  my  reservation,  excepting  and  reserving 
to  myself  only  about  400x3  acres. 

At  this  time  I  informed  Thomas  Clute  of  what 
John  had  advised,  and  recommended  me  to  do, 
and  that  I  had  consulted  my  daughters  on  the  sub- 
ject, who  had  approved  of  the  measure.  He  rea- 
dily agreed  to  assist  me;  whereupon  I  told  him 
he  was  entitled  to  a  lot  of  land,  and  might  select  as 
John  had  mentioned.  He  accordingly  at  that  time 
took  such  a  piece  as  he  chose,  and  the  same  has 
ever  since  been  reserved  for  him  in  all  the  land 
contracts  which  I  have  made. 

On  the  24th  of  August,  1817,  I  leased  to  Micah 
Brooks  and  Jellis  Clute,  the  whole  of  my  original 
reservation,  except  400x3  acres,  and  Thomas  Clute's 
lot.  Finding  their  title  still  incomplete,  on  account 
of  the  United  States  government  and  Seneca 
Chiefs  not  having  sanctioned  my  acts,  they  solicit- 
ed me  to  renew  the  contract,  and  have  the  convey- 
ance made  to  them  in  such  a  manner  as  that  they 
should  thereby  be  constituted  sole  proprietors  of 
the  soil. 

In  the  winter  of  1822 — 3,  I  agreed  with  them, 
that  if  they  would  get  the  chiefs  of  our  nation, 
and  a  United  States  Commissioner  of  Indian 
10  M2 

I38  LIFE  OF 

Lands,  to  meet  in  council  at  Moscow,  Livingston 
county,  N.  Y.  and  there  concur  in  my  agreement, 
that  I  would  sell  to  them  all  my  right  and  title  to 
the  Gardow  reservation,  with  the  exception  of  a 
tract  for  my  own  benefit,  two  miles  long,  and  one 
mile  wide,  lying  on  the  river  where  I  should  choose 
it;  and  also  reserving  Thomas  Clute's  lot.  This 
arrangement  was  agreed  upon,  and  the  council 
assembled  at  the  place  appointed,  on  the  3d  or  4th 
day  of  September,  1823. 

That  council  consisted  of  Major  Carrol,  who 
had  been  appointed  by  the  President  to  dispose  of 
my  lands,  Judge  Howell  and  N.  Gorham,  of  Can- 
andaigua,  (who  acted  in  concert  with  Maj.  Carrol,) 
Jasper  Parrish,  Indian  Agent,  Horatio  Jones,  In- 
terpreter, and  a  great  number  of  Chiefs. 

The  bargain  was  assented  to  unanimously,  and 
a  deed  given  to  H.  B.  Gibson,  Micah  Brooks  and 
Jellis  Clute,  of  the  whole  Gardow  tract,  excepting 
the  last  mentioned  reservations,  which  was  signed 
by  myself  and  upwards  of  twenty  Chiefs. 

The  land  which  I  now  own,  is  bounded  as  fol- 
lows:— Beginning  at  the  center  of  the  Great  Slide* 
and  running  west  one  mile,  thence  north  two  miles, 

*The  Great  Slide  of  the  bank  of  Genesee  river  is  a  curi- 
osity worthy  of  the  attention  of  the  traveller.  In  the  month 
of  May,  1817,  a  portion  of  land  thickly  covered  with  tim- 
ber, situated  at  the  upper  end  of  the  Gardow  flats,  on  the 
west  side  of  the  river,  all  of  a  sudden  gave  way,  and  with 
a  tremendous  crash,  slid  into  the  bed  of  the  river,  which  it 
so  completely  filled,  that  the  stream  formed  a  new  passage 
on  the  east  side  of  it,  where  it  continues  to  run,  without 
overflowing  the  slide.  This  slide,  as  it  now  lies,  contains 
22  acres,  and  has  a  considerable  share  of  the  timber  that 
formerly  covered  it,  still  standing  erect  upon  it,  and  growing. 


thence  east  about  one  mile  to  Genesee  river,  thence 
south  on  the  west  bank  of  Genesee  river  to  the 
place  of  beginning. 

In  consideration  of  the  above  sale,  the  purchas- 
ers have  bound  themselves,  their  heirs,  assigns,  &c. 
to  pay  to  me,  my  heirs  or  successors,  three  hun- 
dred dollars  a  year  forever. 

Whenever  the  land  which  I  have  reserved,  shall 
be  sold,  the  income  of  it  is  to  be  equally  divided 
amongst  the  members  of  the  Seneca  nation,  with- 
out any  reference  to  tribes  or  families. 


Conclusion. — Review  of  her  Life. — Reflections  on  the 
loss  of  Liberty. — Care  she  took  to  preserve  her 
Health. — Indians'  abstemiousness  in  Drinking,  after 
the  French  War. — Care  of  their  Lives,  &c. — General 
use  of  Spirits. — Her  natural  Strength. — Purchase  of 
her  first  Cow. — Means  by  which  she  has  been  sup- 
plied with  Food. — Suspicions  of  her  having  been  a 
Witch. — Her  Constancy. — Number  of  Children. — 
Number  Living. — Their  Residence. — Closing  Re- 

WHEN  I  review  my  life,  the  privations  that  I 
have  suffered,  the  hardships  I  have  endured,  the 
vicissitudes  I  have  passed,  and  the  complete  revo- 
lution that  I  have  experienced  in  my  manner  of 
living;  when  I  consider  my  reduction  from  a  civi- 
lized to  a  savage  state,  and  the  various  steps  by 
which  that  process  has  been  effected,  and  that  my 
life  has  been  prolonged,  and  my  health  and  reason 

i4o  LIFE  OF 

spared,  it  seems  a  miracle  that  I  am  unable  to  ac- 
count for,  and  is  a  tragical  medley  that  I  hope  will 
never  be  repeated. 

The  bare  loss  of  liberty  is  but  a  mere  trifle  when 
compared  with  the  circumstances  that  necessarily 
attend,  and  are  inseparably  connected  with  it.  It 
is  the  recollection  of  what  we  once  were,  of  the 
friends,  the  home,  and  the  pleasures  that  we  have 
left  or  lost;  the  anticipation  of  misery,  the  appear- 
ance of  wretchedness,  the  anxiety  for  freedom, 
the  hope  of  release,  the  devising  of  means  of  es- 
caping, and  the  vigilance  with  which  we  watch  our 
keepers,  that  constitute  the  nauseous  dregs  of  the 
bitter  cup  of  slavery.  I  am  sensible,  however, 
that  no  one  can  pass  from  a  state  of  freedom 
to  that  of  slavery,  and  in  the  last  situation  rest 
perfectly  contented;  but  as  every  one  knows 
that  great  exertions  of  the  mind  tend  directly 
to  debilitate  the  body,  it  will  appear  obvious 
that  we  ought,  when  confined,  to  exert  all  our 
faculties  to  promote  our  present  comfort,  and  let 
future  days  provide  their  own  sacrifices.  In  re- 
gard to  ourselves,  just  as  we  feel,  we  are. 

For  the  preservation  of  my  life  to  the  present 
time  I  am  indebted  to  an  excellent  constitution, 
with  which  I  have  been  blessed  in  as  great  a 
degree  as  any  other  person.  After  I  arrived 
to  years  of  understanding,  the  care  of  my  own 
health  was  one  of  my  principal  studies;  and 
by  avoiding  exposures  to  wet  and  cold,  by  tempe- 
rance in  eating,  abstaining  from  the  use  of  spirits, 
and  shunning  the  excesses  to  which  I  was  frequently 
exposed,  I  effected  my  object  beyond  what  I  ex- 
pected. I  have  never  once  been  sick  till  within  a 
year  or  two,  only  as  I  have  related, 


Spirits  and  tobacco  I  have  never  used,  and  I  have 
never  once  attended  an  Indian  frolic.  When  I 
was  taken  prisoner,  and  for  sometime  after  that, 
spirits  m  was  not  known;  and  when  it  was  first  intro- 
duced, it  was  in  small  quantities,  and  used  only  by 
the  Indians;  so  that  it  was  a  long  time  before  the 
Indian  women  begun  to  even  taste  it. 

After  the  French  war,  for  a  number  of  years,  it 
was  the  practice  of  the  Indians  of  our  tribe  to  send 
to  Niagara  and  get  two  or  three  kegs  of  rum,  (in 
all  six  or  eight  gallons,)  and  hold  a  frolic  as  long 
as  it  lasted.  When  the  rum  was  brought  to  the 
town,  all  the  Indians  collected,  and  before  a  drop 
was  drank,  gave  all  their  knives,  tomahawks,  guns, 
and  other  instruments  of  war,  to  one  Indian,  whose 
business  it  was  to  bury  them  in  a  private  place, 
keep  them  concealed,  and  remain  perfectly  sober 
till  the  frolic  was  ended.  Having  thus  divested 
themselves,  they  commenced  drinking,  and  contin- 
ued their  frolic  till  every  drop  was  consumed.  If 
any  of  them  became  quarrelsome,  or  got  to  fighting, 
those  who  were  sober  enough  bound  them  upon 
the  ground,  where  they  were  obliged  to  lie  till  they 
got  sober,  and  then  were  unbound.  When  the 
fumes  of  the  spirits  had  left  the  company,  the 
sober  Indian  returned  to  each  the  instruments  with 
which  they  had  entrusted  him,  and  all  went  home 
satisfied.  A  frolic  of  that  kind  was  held  but  once 
a  year,  and  that  at  the  time  the  Indians  quit  their 
hunting,  and  come  in  with  their  deer-skins. 

In  those  frolics  the  women  never  participated. 
Soon  after  the  revolutionary  war,  however,  spirits 
became  common  in  our  tribe,  and  has  been  used 
indiscriminately  by  both  sexes;  though  there  are 

i42  LIFE  OF 

not  so  frequent  instances  of  intoxication  amongst 
the  squaws  as  amongst  the  Indians. 

To  the  introduction  and  use  of  that  baneful 
article,  which  has  made  such  devastation  in  our 
tribes,  and  threatens  the  extinction  of  our  people, 
(the  Indians,)  I  can  with  the  greatest  propriety 
impute  the  whole  of  my  misfortune  in  losing  my 
three  sons.  But  as  I  have  before  observed,  not 
even  the  love  of  life  will  restrain  an  Indian  from 
sipping  the  poison  that  he  knows  will  destroy  him. 
The  voice  of  nature,  the  rebukes  of  reason,  the 
advice  of  parents,  the  expostulations  of  friends,  and 
the  numerous  instances  of  sudden  death,  are  all 
insufficient  to  reclaim  an  Indian,  who  has  once 
experienced  the  exhilarating  and  inebriating  effects 
of  spirits,  from  seeking  his  grave  in  the  bottom  of 
his  bottle! 

My  strength  has  been  great  for  a  woman  of  my 
size,  otherwise  I  must  long  ago  have  died  under 
the  burdens  which  I  was  obliged  to  carry.  I  learned 
to  carry  loads  on  my  back,  in  a  strap  placed  across 
my  forehead,  soon  after  my  captivity;  and  continue 
tolcarry  in  the  same  way.  Upwards  of  thirty  years 
ago,  with  the  help  of  my  young  children,  I  backed 
all  the  boards  that  were  used  about  my  house  from 
Allen's  mill  at  the  outlet  of  Silver  Lake,  a  distance 
of  five  miles.  I  have  planted,  hoed,  and  harvested 
corn  every  season  but  one  since  I  was  taken  pris- 
oner. Even  this  present  fall  (1823)  I  have  husked 
my  corn  and  backed  it  into  the  house. 

The  first  cow  that  I  ever  owned,  I  bought  of  a 
squaw  sometime  after  the  revolution.  It  had  been 
stolen  from  the  enemy.  I  had  owned  it  but  a  few 
days  when  it  fell  into  a  hole,  and  almost  died  before 


we  could  get  it  out.  After  this,  the  squaw  wanted 
to  be  recanted,  but  as  I  would  not  give  up  the  cow, 
I  gave  her  money  enough  to  make,  when  added  to 
the  sum  which  I  paid  her  at  first,  thirty-five  dollars. 
Cows  were  plenty  on  the  Ohio,  when  I  lived  there, 
and  of  good  quality. 

For  provisions  I  have  never  suffered  since  I  came 
upon  the  flats;  nor  have  I  ever  been  in  debt  to 
any  other  hands  than  my  own  for  the  plenty  that 
I  have  shared. 

My  vices,  that  have  been  suspected,  have  been 
but  few.  It  was  believed  for  a  long  time,  by  some 
of  our  people,  that  I  was  a  great  witch;  but  they 
were  unable  to  prove  my  guilt,  and  consequently  I 
escaped  the  certain  doom  of  those  who  are  con- 
victed of  that  crime,  which,  by  Indians,  is  consid- 
ered as  heinous  as  murder.  Some  of  my  children 
had  light  brown  hair,  and  tolerable  fair  skin,  which 
used  to  make  some  say  that  I  stole  them;  yet  as  I 
was  ever  conscious  of  my  own  constancy,  I  never 
thought  that  any  one  really  believed  that  I  was 
guilty  of  adultery. 

I  have  been  the  mother  of  eight  children;  three 
of  whom  are  now  living,  and  I  have  at  this  time 
thirty-nine  grand  children,  and  fourteen  great- 
grand  children,  all  living  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Genesee  River,  and  at  Buffalo. 

I  live  in  my  own  house,  and  on  my  own  land, 
with  my  youngest  daughter,  Polly,  who  is  married 
to  George  Chongo,  and  has  three  children. 

My  daughter  Nancy,  who  is  married  to  Billy 
Green,  lives  about  80  rods  south  of  my  house,  and 
has  seven  children. 

My  other  daughter,   Betsey,  is  married  to  John 

LIFE   OF>    &c- 

Green,    has    seven    children,    and    resides    80    rods 
north  of  my  house. 

Thus  situated  in  the  midst  of  my,  children,  I  ex- 
pect I  shall  soon  leave  the  world,  and  make  room 
for  the  rising  generation.  I  feel  the  weight  of 
years  with  which  I  am  loaded,  and  am  sensible  of 
my  daily  failure  in  seeing,  hearing  and  strength; 
but  my  only  anxiety  is  for  my  family.  If  my  family 
will  live  happily,  and  I  can  be  exempted  from 
trouble  while  I  have  to  stay,  I  feel  as  though  I 
could  lay  down  in  peace  a  life  that  has  been  check- 
ed in  almost  every  hour,  with  troubles  of  a  deeper 
dye,  than  are  commonly  experienced  by  mortals. 




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An  account  of  the  destruction  of  a  part  of  the  British 
Army,  by  the  Indians,  at  a  place  called  the  Devil's 
Hole,  on  the  Niagara  River,  in  the  year  1763. 

IT  is  to  be  regretted  that  an  event  of  so  tragical 
a  nature  as  the  following,  should  have  escaped  the 
pens  of  American  Historians,  and  have  been  suf- 
fered to  slide  down  the  current  of  time,  to  the 
verge  of  oblivion,  without  having  been  snatched  al- 
most from  the  vortex  of  forgetfulness,  and  placed  on 
the  faithful  page,  as  a  memorial  of  premeditated 
cruelties,  which,  in  former  times,  were  practised 
upon  the  white  people,  by  the  North  American 

Modern  History,  perhaps,  cannot  furnish  a  par- 
allel so  atrocious  in  design  and  execution,  as  the 
one  before  us,  and  it  may  be  questioned,  even  if 
the  history  of  ancient  times,  when  men  fought 
hand  to  hand,  and  disgraced  their  nature  by  in- 
venting engines  of  torture,  can  more  than  produce 
its  equal. 

It  will  be  observed  in  the  preceding  narrative, 
that  the  affair  at  the  Devil's  Hole  is  said  to  have 
happened  in  November,  1759.  That  Mrs.  Jemi- 
son  arrived  at  Genesee  about  that  time,  is  rendered 
certain  from  a  number  of  circumstances;  and  that 
a  battle  was  fought  on  the  Niagara  in  Nov.  1759, 
in  which  two  prisoners  and  some  oxen  were  taken, 



and  brought  to  Genesee,  as  she  has  stated,  is  alto^ 
gether  probable.  But  it  is  equally  certain  that 
the  event  which  is  the  subject  of  this  article,  did 
not  take  place  till  the  year  1763. 132 

In  the  time  of  the  French  war,  the  neighbor- 
hood of  Forts  Niagara  and  Sclusser,  (or  Schlosser, 
as  it  was  formerly  written,)  on  the  Niagara  river, 
was  a  general  battle-ground,  and  for  this  reason, 
Mrs.  Jemison's  memory  ought  not  to  be  charged 
with  treachery,  for  not  having  been  able  to  distin- 
guish accurately,  after  the  lapse  of  sixty  years, 
between  the  circumstances  of  one  engagement 
and  those  of  another.  She  resided  on  the  Gene- 
see  at  the  time  when  the  warriors  of  that  tribe 
marched  off  to  assist  in  laying  the  ambush  at  the 
Devil's  Hole;  and  no  one  will  doubt  her  having 
heard  them  rehearse  the  story  of  the  event  of  that 
nefarious  campaign,  after  they  returned. 

Chronology  and  history  concur  in  stating  that 
Fort  Niagara  was  taken  from  the  French,  by  the 
British,  and  that  Gen.  Prideaux  was  killed  on  the 
25th  of  July,  1759. 

Having  obtained  from  Mrs.  Jemison  a  kind  of 
introduction  to  the  story,  I  concluded  that  if  it  yet 
remained  possible  to  procure  a  correct  account  of  the 
circumstances  which  led  to  and  attended  that  trans- 
action, it  would  be  highly  gratifying  to  the  Ameri- 
can public.  I  accordingly  directed  a  letter  to  Mr. 
Linus  S.  Everett,  of  Buffalo,  whose  ministerial 
labor,  I  well  knew,  frequently  called  him  to  Lewis- 
ton,  requesting  him  to  furnish  me  with  a  particular 
account  of  the  destruction  of  the  British,  at  the 
time  and  place  before  mentioned.  He  obligingly 
complied  with  my  request,  and  gave  me  the  result 


of  his   inquiries  on  that   subject,   in  the   following 
letter: — 

Copy    of   a    letter    from    Mr.    Linus    S.    Everett,    dated 
Fort  Sclusser,  29th  December,  1823. 

Respected  and  dear  friend, 

I  hasten,  with  much  pleasure,  to  comply  with 
your  request,  in  regard  to  the  affair  at  the  Devil's 
Hole.  I  have  often  wondered  that  no  authentic 
account  has  ever  been  given  of  that  bloody  and 
tragical  scene. 

I  have  made  all  the  inquiries  that  appear  to  be 
of  any  use,  and  proceed  to  give  you  the  result. 

At  this  place,  (Fort  Sclusser,)  an  old  gentleman 
now  resides,  to  whom  I  am  indebted  for  the  best 
account  of  the  affair  that  can  be  easily  obtained. 
His  name  is  Jesse  Ware — his  age  about  74.  Al- 
though he  was  not  a  resident  of  this  part  of  the 
country  at  the  time  of  the  event,  yet  from  his  in- 
timate acquaintance  with  one  of  the  survivors,  he 
is  able  to  give  much  information,  which  otherwise 
could  not  be  obtained. 

The  account  that  he  gives  is  as  follows: — In 
July,  1759,  the  British,  under  Sir  William  John- 
ston, took  possession  of  Forts  Niagara  and  Sclus- 
ser, which  had  before  been  in  the  hands  of  the 
French.  At  this  time,  the  Seneca  Indians,  (which 
were  a  numerous  and  powerful  nation,)  were  hos- 
tile to  the  British,  and  warmly  allied  to  the  French. 
These  two  posts,  (viz.)  Niagara  and  Sclusser,  were 
of  great  importance  to  the  British,  on  the  account 
of  affording  the  means  of  communication  with  the 
posts  above,  or  on  the  upper  lakes.  In  1760,  a 
contract  was  made  between  Sir  William  Johnston 


and  a  Mr.  Stedman,  to  construct  a  portage  road 
from  Queenston  landing  to  Fort  Sclusser,  a  dis- 
tance of  eight  miles,  in  order  to  facilitate  the  trans- 
portation of  provision,  ammunition,  &c.  from  one 
place  to  the  other.  In  conformity  to  this  agree- 
ment, on  the  2oth  of  June,  1763,  Stedman  had 
completed  his  road,  and  appeared  at  Queenston 
Landing,  (now  Lewiston,)  with  twenty-five  portage 
wagons,  and  one  hundred  horses  and  oxen,  to 
transport  to  Fort  Sclusser  the  king's  stores. 

At  this  time  Sir  William  Johnston  was  suspicious 
of  the  intentions  of  the  Senecas;  for  after  the  sur- 
render of  the  forts  by  the  French,  they  had  ap- 
peared uneasy  and  hostile.  In  order  to  prevent 
the  teams,  drivers  and  goods,  receiving  injury,  he 
detached  300  troops  to  guard  them  across  the 
portage.  The  teams,  under  this  escort,  started 
from  Queenston  landing — Stedman,  who  had  the 
charge  of  the  whole,  was  on  horseback,  and 
rode  between  the  troops  and  teams;  all  the  troops 
being  in  front.  On  a  small  hill  near  the  Devil's 
Hole,  at  that  time,  was  a  redoubt  of  twelve  men, 
which  served  as  a  kind  of  guard  on  ordinary  occa- 
sions, against  the  depredations  of  the  savages. 
"On  the  arrival  of  the  troops  and  teams  at  the 
Devil's  Hole,"  says  a  manuscript  in  the  hands  of 
my  informant,  "the  sachems,  chiefs  and  warriors 
of  the  Seneca  Indians,  sallied  from  the  adjoining 
woods,  by  thousands,  (where  they  had  been  con- 
cealed for  some  time  before,  fqr  that  nefarious  pur- 
pose,) and  falling  upon  the  troops,  teams  and  dri- 
vers, and  the  guard  of  twelve  men  before  men- 
tioned, they  killed  all  the  men  but  three  on  the 
spot,  or  by  driving  them,  together  with  the  teams, 


down  the  precipice,  which  was  about  seventy  or 
eighty  feet!  The  Indians  seized  Stedman's  horse 
by  the  bridle,  while  he  was  on  him,  designing,  no 
doubt,  to  make  his  sufferings  more  lasting  than 
that  of  his  companions:  but  while  the  bloody 
scene  was  acting,  the  attention  of  the  Indian  who 
held  the  horse  of  Stedman  being  arrested,  he  cut 
the  reins  of  his  bridle — clapped  spurs  to  his  horse, 
and  rode  over  the  dead  and  dying,  into  the  adja- 
cent woods,  without  receiving  injury  from  the  ene- 
my's firing.  Thus  he  escaped;  and  besides  him 
two  others — one  a  drummer,  who  fell  among  the 
trees,  was  caught  by  his  drum  strap,  and  escaped 
unhurt;  the  other,  one  who  fell  down  the  preci- 
pice and  broke  his  thigh,  but  crawled  to  the  land- 
ing or  garrison  down  the  river."  The  following 
September,  the  Indians  gave  Stedman  a  piece  of 
land,  as  a  reward  for  his  bravery. 

With  sentiments  of  respect,  I  remain,  sir,  your 
sincere  friend,  L.  S.  EVERETT. 

Mr.  J.  E.  Seaver. 

A  particular  account  of  General  Sullivan's  Expedi- 
tion against  the  Indians,  in  the  western  part  of  the 
State  of  New- York,  in  1779. 

IT  has  been  thought  expedient  to  publish  in  this 
volume,  the  following  account  of  Gen.  Sullivan's 
expedition,  in  addition  to  the  facts  related  by  Mrs. 
Jemison,  of  the  barbarities  which  were  perpetrated 
upon  Lieut,  Boyd,  and  two  others,  who  were  taken, 
and  who  formed  a  part  of  his  army,  &c,  A  de- 


tailed  account  of  this  expedition  has  never  been  in 
the  hands  of  the  public;  and  as  it  is  now  produced 
from  a  source  deserving  implicit  credit,  it  is  pre- 
sumed that  it  will  be  received  with  satisfaction. 

John  Salmon,  Esq.  to  whom  we  are  happy  to 
acknowledge  our  indebtedness  for  the  subjoined 
account,  is  an  old  gentleman  of  respectability  and 
good  standing  in  society;  and  is  at  this  time  a  re- 
sident in  the  town  of  Groveland,  Livingston  county, 
New- York.  He  was  a  hero  in  the  American  war 
for  independence;  fought  in  the  battles  of  his 
country  under  the  celebrated  Morgan;  survived 
the  blast  of  British  oppression;  and  now,  in  the 
decline  of  life,  sits  under  his  own  well  earned  vine 
and  fig-tree,  near  the  grave  of  his  unfortunate 
countrymen,  who  fell  gloriously,  while  fighting  the 
the  ruthless  savages,  under  the  command  of  the 
gallant  Boyd. 

In  the  autumn  after  the  battle  of  Monmouth, 
(1778,)  Morgan's  riflemen,  to  which  corps  I  be- 
longed, marched  to  Schoharie,  in  the  state  of  New- 
York,  and  there  went  into  winter  quarters.  The 
company  to  which  I  was  attached,  was  commanded 
by  Capt.  Michael  Simpson;  and  Thomas  Boyd,  of 
Northumberland  county,  Pennsylvania,  was  our 

In  the  following  spring,  our  corps,  together  with 
the  whole  body  of  troops  under  the  command  of 
Gen.  Clinton,  to  the  amount  of  about  1500,  em- 
barked in  boats  at  Schenectady,  and  ascended  the 
Mohawk  as  far  as  German  Flats.  Thence  we 
took  a  direction  to  Otsego  lake,  descended  the 
Susquehanna,  and  without  any  remarkable  occur- 
rence, arrived  at  Tioga  Point,  where  our  troops 


united  with  an  army  of  1500  men  under  the  com- 
mand  of  Gen.  Sullivan,  who  had  marched  through 
a  part  of  New- Jersey,  and  had  reached  that  place 
by  the  way  of  Wyoming,  some  days  before  us. 

That  part  of  the  army  under  Gen.  Sullivan,  had, 
on  their  arrival  at  Tioga  Point,  found  the  Indians 
in  some  force  there,  with  whom  they  had  had  some 
unimportant  skirmishes  before  our  arrival.  Upon 
the  junction  of  these  two  bodies  of  troops,  Gen. 
Sullivan  assumed  the  command  of  the  whole,  and 
proceeded  up  the  Tioga.  When  within  a  few 
miles  of  the  place  now  called  Newtown,  we  were 
met  by  a  body  of  Indians,  and  a  number  of  troops 
well  known  in  those  times  by  the  name  of  Butler's 
Rangers,  who  had  thrown  up,  hastily,  a  breastwork 
of  logs,  trees,  &c.  They  were,  however,  easily 
driven  from  their  works,  with  considerable  loss  on 
their  part,  and  without  any  injury  to  our  troops. 
The  enemy  fled  with  so  much  precipitation,  that 
they  left  behind  them  some  stores  and  camp  equip- 
page.  They  retreated  but  a  short  distance  before 
they  made  a  stand,  and  built  another  breastwork 
of  considerable  length,  in  the  woods,  near  a  small 
opening.  Sullivan  was  soon  apprized  of  their  sit- 
uation, divided  his  army,  and  attemped  to  sur- 
round, by  sending  one  half  to  the  right  and  the 
other  to  the  left,  with  directions  to  meet  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  enemies.  In  order  to  prevent 
their  retreating,  he  directed  bomb-shells  to  be 
thrown  over  them,  which  was  done:  but  on  the 
shells  bursting,  the  Indians  suspected  that  a  pow- 
erful army  had  opened  a  heavy  fire  upon  them  on 
that  side,  and  fled  with  the  utmost  precipitation 
through  one  wing  of  the  surrounding  army.  A 


great  number  of  the  enemy  were  killed,  and  our 
army  suffered  considerably. 

The  Indians  having,  in  this  manner,  escaped, 
they  went  up  the  river  to  a  place  called  the  Nar- 
rows, where  they  were  attacked  by  our  men,  who 
killed  them  in  great  numbers,  so  that  the  sides  of 
the  rocks  next  the  river  appeared  as  though  blood 
had  been  poured  on  them  by  pailfuls.  The  Indians 
threw  their  dead  into  the  river,  and  escaped  the 
best  way  they  could. 

From  Newtown  our  army  went  directly  to  the 
head  of  the  Seneca  lake;  thence  down  that  lake 
to  its  mouth,  where  we  found  the  Indian  village 
at  that  place  evacuated,  except  by  a  single  in- 
habitant— a  male  child  about  seven  or  eight  years 
of  age,  who  was  found  asleep  in  one  of  the  In- 
dian huts.133  Its  fate  I  have  never  ascertained.  It 
was  taken  into  the  care  of  an  officer  of  the  army, 
who,  on  account  of  ill  health,  was  not  on  duty,  and 
who  took  the  child  with  him,  as  I  have  since  un- 
derstood, to  his  residence  on  or  near  the  North 

From  the  mquth  of  Seneca  lake  we  proceeded, 
without  the  occurrence  of  any  thing  of  importance, 
by  the  outlets  of  the  Canandaigua,  Honeoye,  and 
Hemlock  lakes,  to  the  head  of  Connissius  lake, 
where  the  army  encamped  on  the  ground  that  is 
now  called  Henderson's  Flats. 

Soon  after  the  army  had  encamped,  at  the  dusk 
of  the  evening,  a  party  of  twenty-one  men,  under 
the  command  of  Lieut.  Boyd,  was  detached  from 
the  rifle  corps,  and  sent  out  for  the  purpose  of  re- 
connoitering  the  ground  near  the  Genesee  river, 
at  a  place  now  called  Williamsburg,  at  a  distance 


from  the  camp  of  about  seven  miles,  under  the 
guidance  of  a  faithful  Indian  pilot.  That  place 
was  then  the  site  of  an  Indian  village,  and  it  was 
apprehended  that  the  Indians  and  Rangers  might 
be  there  or  in  that  vicinity  in  considerable  force. 

On  the  arrival  of  the  party  at  Williamsburg, 
they  found  that  the  Indian  village  had  been  recently 
deserted,  as  the  fires  in  the  huts  were  still  burning. 
The  night  was  so  far  spent  when  they  got  to  their 
place  of  destination,  that  Lieutenant  Boyd,  con- 
sidering the  fatigue  of  his  men,  concluded  to  re- 
main during  the  night  near  the  village,  and  to  send 
two  men  messengers  with  a  report  to  the  camp  in 
the  morning.  Accordingly,  a  little  before  day- 
break, he  despatched  two  men  to  the  main  body  of 
the  army,  with  information  that  the  enemy  had 
not  been  discovered. 

After  day-light,  Lieut.  Boyd  cautiously  crept 
from  the  place  of  his  concealment,  and  upon  get- 
ting a  view  of  the  village,  discovered  two  Indians 
hovering  about  the  settlement:  one  of  whom  was 
immediately  shot  and  scalped  by  one  of  the  rifle- 
men, whose  name  was  Murphy.  Supposing  that 
if  there  were  Indians  in  that  vicinity,  or  near  the 
village,  they  would  be  instantly  alarmed  by  this 
occurrence,  Lieut.  Boyd  thought  it  most  prudent 
to  retire,  and  make  the  best  of  his  way  to  the  gen- 
eral encampment  of  our  army.  They  accordingly 
set  out  and  retraced  the  steps  which  they  had  taken 
the  day  before,  till  they  were  intercepted  by  the 

On  their  arriving  within  about  one  mile  and  a 
half  of  the  main  army,  they  were  surprized  by  the 

sucldcn   appearance   of  a    body   of  Indians,   to   the 


amount  of  five  hundred,  under  the  command  of 
the  celebrated  Brandt,  and  the  same  number  of 
Rangers,  commanded  by  the  infamous  Butler,  who 
had  secreted  themselves  in  a  ravine  of  considerable 
extent,  which  lay  across  the  track  that  Lieut.  Boyd 
had  pursued. 

Upon  discovering  the  enemy,  and  knowing  that 
the  only  chance  for  escape  was  by  breaking  through 
their  line,  (one  of  the  most  desperate  enterprizes 
ever  undertaken,)  Lieut.  Boyd,  after  a  few  words 
of  encouragement,  led  his  men  to  the  attempt. 
As  extraordinary  as  it  may  seem,  the  first  onset, 
though  unsuccessful,  was  made  without  the  loss  of 
a  man  on  the  part  of  the  heroic  band,  though  sev- 
eral of  the  enemy  were  killed.  Two  attempts 
more  were  made,  which  were  equally  unsuccessful, 
and  in  which  the  whole  party  fell,  except  Lieut. 
Boyd,  and  eight  others.  Lieut.  Boyd  and  a  soldier 
by  the  name  of  Parker,  were  taken  prisoners  on 
the  spot,  a  part  of  the  remainder  fled,  and  a  part 
fell  on  the  ground,  apparently  dead,  and  were 
overlooked  by  the  Indians,  who  were  too  much 
engaged  in  pursuing  the  fugitives  to  notice  those 
who  fell. 

When  Lieut.  Boyd  found  himself  a  prisoner,  he 
solicited  an  interview  with  Brandt,  whom  he  well 
knew  commanded  the  Indians.  This  Chief,  who 
was  at  that  moment  near,  immediately  presented 
himself,  when  Lieut.  Boyd,  by  one  of  those  ap- 
peals which  are  known  only  by  those  who  have 
been  initiated  and  instructed  in  certain  mysteries, 
and  which  never  fail  to  bring  succor  to  a  "distress- 
ed brother,"  addressed  him  as  the  only  source  from 
which  he  could  expect  a  respite  from  cruel  punish- 


ment  or  death.  The  appeal  was  recognized,  and 
Brandt  immediately,  and  in  the  strongest  language, 
assured  him  that  his  life  should  be  spared. 

Lieut.  Boyd,  and  his  fellow-prisoner,  Parker, 
were  immediately  conducted  by  a  party  of  the 
Indians  to  the  Indian  village  called  Beard's  Town, 
on  the  west  side  of  Genesee  river,  in  what  is  now 
called  Leicester.  After  their  arrival  at  Beard's 
Town,  Brandt,  their  generous  preserver,  being 
called  on  service  which  required  a  few  hours  ab- 
sence, left  them  in  the  care  of  the  British  Col. 
Butler,  of  the  Rangers;  who,  as  soon  as  Brandt 
had  left  them,  commenced  an  interrogation,  to  ob- 
tain from  the  prisoners  a  statement  of  the  num- 
ber, situation  and  intentions  of  the  army  under 
Gen.  Sullivan;  and  threatened  them,  in  case  they 
hesitated  or  prevaricated  in  their  answers,  to  de- 
liver them  up  immediately  to  be  massacred  by  the 
Indians,  who,  in  Brandt's  absence,  and  with  the 
encouragement  of  their  more  savage  commander, 
Butler,  were  ready  to  commit  the  greatest  cruelties. 
Relying,  probably,  on  the  promises  which  Brandt 
had  made  them,  and  which  he  undoubtedly  meant 
to  fulfil,  they  refused  to  give  Butler  the  desired  in- 
formation. Butler,  upon  this,  hastened  to  put  his 
threat  into  execution.  They  were  delivered  to 
some  of  their  most  ferocious  enemies,  who,  after 
having  put  them  to  very  severe  torture,  killed  them 
by  severing  their  heads  from  their  bodies. 

The  main  army,  immediately  after  hearing  of 
the  situation  of  Lieut.  Boyd's  detachment,  moved 
on  towards  Genesee  river,  and  finding  the  bodies 
of  those  who  were  slain  in  Boyd's  heroic  attempt 
to  penetrate  through  the  enemy's  line,  buried  them 


in  what  is  now  the  town  of  Groveland,  where  the 
grave  is  to  be  seen  at  this  day. 

Upon  their  arrival  at  the  Genesee  river,  they 
crossed  over,  scoured  the  country  for  some  dis- 
tance on  the  river,  burnt  the  Indian  villages  on  the 
Genesee  flats,  and  destroyed  all  their  corn  and 
other  means  of  subsistence. 

The  bodies  of  Lieut.  Boyd  and  Parker  were 
found  and  buried  near  the  bank  of  Beard's  creek, 
under  a  bunch  of  wild  plum-trees,  on  the  road,  as 
it  now  runs,  from  Moscow  to  Geneseo.  I  was  one 
of  those  who  committed  to  the  earth  the  remains  of 
my  friend  and  companion  in  arms,  the  gallant  Boyd. 

Immediately  after  these  events  the  army  com- 
menced its  march  back,  by  the  same  route  that  it 
came,  to  Tioga  Point;  thence  down  the  Susque- 
hanna  to  Wyoming;  and  thence  across  the  coun- 
try to  Morristown,  New- Jersey,  where  we  went  into 
winter  quarters. 

Gen.  Sullivan's  bravery  is  unimpeachable.  He 
was  unacquainted,  however,  with  fighting  the  In- 
dians, and  made  use  of  the  best  means  to  keep 
them  at  such  a  distance  that  they  could  not  be 
brought  into  an  engagement.  It  was  his  practice, 
morning  and  evening,  to  have  cannon  fired  in  or 
near  the  camp,  by  which  the  Indians  were  notified 
of  their  speed  in  marching,  and  of  his  situation, 
and  were  enabled  to  make  a  seasonable  retreat. 

The  foregoing  account,  according  to  the  best  of 
my  recollection  is  strictly  correct. 


Groveland,  January  24,  1824. 

Esq.  Salmon  was  formerly  from  Northumber- 
land county,  Pennsylvania,  and  was  first  Serjeant 
in  Capt.  Simpson's  and  Lieut.  Boyd's  company. 


Tradition  of  the  Origin  of  the  Seneca  Nation. — Their 
Preservation  from  utter  extinction. — The  Means  by 
which  the  People  who  preceded  the  Senecas  were 
destroyed — and  the  Cause  of  the  different  Indian 

THE  tradition  of  the  Seneca  Indians,  in  regard 
to  their  origin,  as  we  are  assured  by  Capt.  Horatio 
Jones,  who  was  a  prisoner  five  years  amongst  them, 
and  for  many  years  since  has  been  an  interpreter, 
and  agent  for  the  payment  of  their  annuities,  is 
that  they  broke  out  of  the  earth  from  a  large  moun- 
tain at  the  head  of  Canandaigua  Lake,  and  that 
mountain  they  still  venerate  as  the  place  of  their 
birth;  thence  they  derive  their  name,  "Ge-nun- 
de-wah,"  *««  or  Great  Hill,  and  are  called  "The 
Great  Hill  People,"  which  is  the  true  definition  of 
the  word  Seneca. 

The  great  hill  at  the  head  of  Canandaigua  lake, 
from  whence  they  sprung,  is  called  Genundewah, 
and  has  for  a  long  time  past  been  the  place  where 
the  Indians  of  that  nation  have  met  in  council,  to 
hold  great  talks,  and  to  offer  up  prayers  to  the 
Great  Spirit,  on  account  of  its  having  been  their 
birth  place;  and  also  in  consequence  of  the  des- 
truction of  a  serpent  at  that  place,  in  ancient  time, 
in  a  most  miraculous  manner,  which  threatened 
the  destruction  of  the  whole  of  the  Senecas,  and 
barely  spared  enough  to  commence  replenishing 
the  earth. 

The  Indians  say,  says  Capt.  Jones,  that  the  fort 
on  the  big  hill,  or  Genundewah,  near  the  head  of 
Canandaigua  lake,  was  surrounded  by  a  monstrous 

*  This  by  some  is  spoken  Ge-nun-de-wah-gauh. 



serpent,  whose  head  and  tail  came  together  at  the 
gate.  A  long  time  it  lay  there,  confounding  the 
people  with  its  breath.  At  length  they  attempted 
to  make  their  escape,  some  with  their  hommany- 
blocks,  and  others  with  different  implements  of 
household  furniture;  and  in  marching  out  of  the 
fort  walked  down  the  throat  of  the  serpent.  Two 
orphan  children,  who  had  escaped  this  general  de- 
struction by  being  left  some  time  before  on  the 
outside  of  the  fort,  were  informed  by  an  oracle  of 
the  means  by  which  they  could  get  rid  of  their 
formidable  enemy — which  was,  to  take  a  small 
bow  and  a  poisoned  arrow,  made  of  a  kind  of  wil- 
low, and  with  that  shoot  the  serpent  under  its 
scales.  This  they  did,  and  the  arrow  proved  ef- 
fectual; for  on  its  penetrating  the  skin,  the  serpent 
became  sick,  and  extending  itself  rolled  down  the 
hill,  destroying  all  the  timber  that  was  in  its  way, 
disgorging  itself  and  breaking  wind  greatly  as  it 
went.  At  every  motion,  a  human  head  was  dis- 
charged, and  rolled  down  the  hill  into  the  lake, 
where  they  lie  at  this  day,  in  a  petrified  state, 
having  the  hardness  and  appearance  of  stones. 

To  this  day  the  Indians  visit  that  sacred  place, 
to  mourn  the  loss  of  their  friends,  and  to  celebrate 
some  rites  that  are  peculiar  to  themselves.  To 
the  knowledge  of  white  people  there  has  been  no 
timber  on  the  great  hill  since  it  was  first  discovered 
by  them,  though  it  lay  apparently  in  a  state  of  na- 
ture for  a  great  number  of  years,  without  cultiva- 
tion. Stones  in  the  shape  of  Indians'  heads  may 
be  seen  lying  in  the  lake  in  great  plenty,  which 
are  said  to  be  the  same  that  were  deposited  there 
at  the  death  of  the  serpent. 


The  Senecas  have  a  tradition,  that  previous  to, 
and  for  some  time  after,  their  origin  at  Genunde- 
wah,  this  country,  especially  about  the  lakes,  was 
thickly  inhabited  by  a  race  of  civil,  enterprizing 
and  industrious  people,  who  were  totally  destroyed 
by  the  great  serpent,  that  afterwards  surrounded 
the  great  hill  fort,  with  the  assistance  of  others  of 
the  same  species;  and  that  they  (the  Senecas) 
went  into  possession  of  the  improvements  that  were 

In  those  days  the  Indians  throughout  the  whole 
country,  as  the  Senecas  say,  spoke  one  language; 
but  having  become  considerably  numerous,  the 
before  mentioned  great  serpent,  by  an  unknown 
influence,  confounded  their  language,  so  that  they 
could  not  understand  each  other;  which  was  the 
cause  of  their  division  into  nations,  as  the  Mo- 
hawks, Oneidas,  &c.  At  that  time,  however,  the 
Senecas  retained  their  original  language,  and  con- 
tinued to  occupy  their  mother  hill,  on  which  they 
fortified  themselves  against  their  enemies,  and  liv- 
ed peaceably,  till  having  offended  the  serpent,*  they 
were  cut  off  as  before  stated. 


PERHAPS  no  people  are  more  exact  observers  of 
religious  duties  than  those  Indians  among  the  Sen- 
ecas, who  are  denominated  pagans,  in  contradis- 

*The  pagans  of  the  Senecas  believe  that  all  the  little 
snakes  were  made  of  the  blood  of  the  great  serpent,  after 
it  rolled  into  the  lake. 


tinction  from  those,  who,  having  renounced  some 
of  their  former  superstitious  notions,  have  obtain- 
ed the  name  of  Christians.  The  traditionary 
faith  of  their  fathers,  having  been  orally  transmit- 
ted to  them  from  time  immemorial,  is  implicitly 
believed,  scrupulously  adhered  to,  and  rigidly  prac- 
tised. They  are  agreed  in  their  sentiments — are 
all  of  one  order,  and  have  individual  and  public 
good,  especially  among  themselves,  for  the  great 
motive  which  excites  them  to  attend  to  those  mo- 
ral virtues  that  are  directed  and  explained  by  all 
their  rules,  and  in  all  their  ceremonies. 

Many  years  have  elapsed  since  the  introduction 
tion  of  Christian  Missionaries  among  them,  whom 
they  have  heard,  and  very  generally  understand 
the  purport  of  the  message  they  were  sent  to  deliver. 
They  say  that  it  is  highly  probable  that  Jesus 
Christ  came  into  the  world  in  old  times,  to  establish 
a  religion  that  would  promote  the  happiness  of  the 
white  people,  on  the  other  side  of  the  great  water, 
(meaning  the  sea,)  and  that  he  died  for  the  sins  of 
his  people,  as  the  missionaries  have  informed  them: 
But,  they  say  that  Jesus  Christ  had  nothing  to  do 
with  them,  and  that  the  Christian  religion  was  not 
designed  for  their  benefit;  but  rather,  should  they 
embrace  it,  they  are  confident  it  would  make  them 
worse,  and  consequently  do  them  an  injury.  They 
say,  also,  that  the  Great  Good  Spirit  gave  them 
their  religion;  and  that  it  is  better  adapted  to  their 
circumstances,  situation  and  habits,  and  to  the 
promotion  of  their  present  comfort  and  ultimate 
happiness,  than  any  system  that  ever  has  or  can 
be  devised.  They,  however,  believe,  that  the 
Christian  religion  is  better  calculated  for  the  good 


of  white  people  than  theirs  is;  and  wonder  that 
those  who  have  embraced  it,  do  not  attend  more 
strictly  to  its  precepts,  and  feel  more  engaged  for 
its  support  and  diffusion  among  themselves.  At 
the  present  time,  they  are  opposed  to  preachers  or 
schoolmasters  being  sent  or  coming  among  them; 
and  appear  determined  by  all  means  to  adhere  to 
their  ancient  customs. 

They  believe  in  a  Great  Good  Spirit,  (whom 
they  call  in  the  Seneca  language  Nau-wan-e-u,)  135  as 
the  Creator  of  the  world,  and  of  every  good 
thing — that  he  made  men,  and  all  inoffensive  ani- 
mals; that  he  supplies  men  with  all  the  comforts 
of  life;  and  that  he  is  particularly  partial  to  the 
Indians,  whom  they  say  are  his  peculiar  people. 
They  also  believe  that  he  is  pleased  in  giving  them 
(the  Indians)  good  gifts;  and  that  he  is  highly 
gratified  with  their  good  conduct — that  he  abhors 
their  vices,  and  that  he  is  willing  to  punish  them 
for  their  bad  conduct,  not  only  in  this  world,  but 
in  a  future  state  of  existence.  His  residence,  they 
suppose,  lies  at  a  great  distance  from  them,  in  a 
country  that  is  perfectly  pleasant,  where  plenty 
abounds,  even  to  profusion.  That  there  the  soil 
is  completely  fertile,  and  the  seasons  so  mild  that 
the  corn  never  fails  to  be  good — that  the  deer, 
elk,  buffalo,  turkies,  and  other  useful  animals,  are 
numerous,  and  that  the  forests  are  well  calculated  to 
facilitate  their  hunting  them  with  success — that 
the  streams  are  pure,  and  abound  with  fish:  and 
that  nothing  is  wanting,  to  render  fruition  com- 
plete. Over  this  territory  they  say  Nauwaneu 
presides  as  an  all-powerful  king;  and  that  without 
counsel  he  admits  to  his  pleasures  all  whom  he 



considers  to  be  worthy  of  enjoying  so  great  a  state 
of  blessedness. 

To  this  being  they  address  prayers,  offer  sacri- 
fices, give  thanks  for  favors,  and  perform  many 
acts  of  devotion  and  reverence. 

They  likewise  believe  that  Nauwaneu  has  a 
brother  that  is  less  powerful  than  himself,  and  who 
is  opposed  to  him,  and  to  every  one  that  is  or  wishes 
to  be  good :  that  this  bad  Spirit 136  made  all  evil 
things,  snakes,  wolves,  catamounts,  and  all  other 
poisonous  or  noxious  animals  and  beasts  of  prey, 
except  the  bear,  which,  on  the  account  of  the  ex- 
cellence of  its  meat  for  food,  and  skin  for  clothing, 
they  say  was  made  by  Nauwaneu.  Besides  all 
this  they  say  he  makes  and  sends  them  their  dis- 
eases, bad  weather  and  bad  crops,  and  that  he 
makes  and  supports  witches.  He  owns  a  large 
country  adjoining  that  of  his  brother,  with  whom 
he  is  continually  at  variance.  His  fields  are  un- 
productive; thick  clouds  intercept  the  rays  of  the 
sun,  and  consequently  destructive  frosts  are  fre- 
quent; game  is  very  scarce,  and  not  easily  taken; 
ravenous  beasts  are  numerous;  reptiles  of  every 
poisoned  tooth  lie  in  the  path  of  the  traveller;  the 
streams  are  muddy,  and  hunger,  nakedness  and 
general  misery,  are  severely  felt  by  those  who  un- 
fortunately become  his  tenants.  He  takes  pleasure 
in  afflicting  the  Indians  here,  and  after  their  death 
receives  all  those  into  his  dreary  dominions,  who 
in  their  life  time  have  been  so  vile  as  to  be  rejected 
by  Nauwaneu,  under  whose  eye  they  are  continued 
in  an  uncomfortable  state  forever.  To  this  source 
of  evil  they  offer  some  oblations  to  abate  his  ven- 
geance, and  render  him  propitious.  They,  how- 


ever,  believe  him  to  be,  in  a  degree,  under  subjec- 
tion to  his  brother,  and  incapable  of  executing  his 
plans  only  by  his  high  permission. 

Public  religious  duties  are  attended  to  in  the 
celebration  of  particular  festivals  and  sacrifices, 
which  are  observed  with  circumspection  and  at- 
tended with  decorum. 

In  each  year  they  have  five  feasts,137  or  stated 
times  for  assembling  in  their  tribes,  and  giving 
thanks  to  Nauwaneu,  for  the  blessings  which  they 
have  received  from  his  kind  and  liberal  and  provi- 
dent hand;  and  also  to  converse  upon  the  best 
means  of  meriting  a  continuance  of  his  favors. 
The  first  of  these  feasts  is  immediately  after  they 
have  finished  sugaring,  at  which  time  they  give 
thanks  for  the  favorable  weather  and  great  quan- 
tity of  sap  they  have  had,  and  for  the  sugar  that 
they  have  been  allowed  to  make  for  the  benefit  of 
their  families.  At  this,  as  at  all  the  succeeding 
feasts,  the  Chiefs  arise  singly,  and  address  the  au- 
dience in  a  kind  of  exhortation,  in  which  they  ex- 
press their  own  thankfulness,  urge  the  necessity 
and  propriety  of  general  gratitude,  and  point  out 
the  course  which  ought  to  be  pursued  by  each  in- 
dividual, in  order  that  Nauwaneu  may  continue  to 
bless  them,  and  that  the  evil  spirit  may  be  defeated. 

On  these  occasions  the  Chiefs  describe  a  perfect- 
ly straight  line,  half  an  inch  wide,  and  perhaps 
ten  miles  long,  which  they  direct  their  people  to 
travel  upon  by  placing  one  foot  before  the  other, 
with  the  heel  of  one  foot  to  the  toe  of  the  other, 
and  so  on  till  they  arrive  at  the  end.  The  mean- 
ing of  which  is,  that  they  must  not  turn  aside  to 
the  right  hand  or  to  the  left  into  the  paths  of  vice, 


but  keep  straight  ahead  in  the  way  of  well  doing, 
that  will  lead  them  to  the  paradise  of  Nauwaneu. 

The  second  feast  is  after  planting;  when  they 
render  thanks  for  the  pleasantness  of  the  season — 
for  the  good  time  they  have  had  for  preparing 
their  ground  and  planting  their  corn;  and  are  in- 
structed by  their  Chiefs,  by  what  means  to  merit  a 
good  harvest. 

When  the  green  corn  becomes  fit  for  use,  they 
hold  their  third,  or  green  corn  feast.  Their  fourth 
is  celebrated  after  corn  harvest;  and  the  fifth  at 
the  close  of  their  year,  and  is  always  celebrated  at 
the  time  of  the  old  moon  in  the  last  of  January 
or  first  of  February.  This  last  deserves  a  partic- 
ular description. 

The  Indians  having  returned  from  hunting,  and 
having  brought  in  all  the  venison  and  skins  that  they 
have  taken,  a  committee  is  appointed,  says  Mrs. 
Jemison,  consisting  of  from  ten  to  twenty  active 
men,  to  superintend  the  festivities  of  the  great  sac- 
rifice and  thanksgiving  that  is  to  be  immediately 
celebrated.  This  being  done,  preparations  are  made 
at  the  council-house,  or  place  of  meeting,  for  the 
reception  and  accommodation  of  the  whole  tribe; 
and  then  the  ceremonies  are  commenced,  and  the 
whole  is  conducted  with  a  great  degree  of  order  and 
harmony,  under  the  direction  of  the  committee. 

Two  white  dogs,*  without  spot  or  blemish,  are 
selected  (if  such  can  be  found,  and  if  not,  two 
that  have  the  fewest  spots)  from  those  belonging 
to  the  tribe,  and  killed  near  the  door  of  the  coun- 
cil-house, by  being  strangled.  A  wound  on  the 

*  This  was  the  practice  in  former  times;  but  at  present  I 
am  informed  that  only  one  dog  is  sacrificed.138. 


animal  or  an  effusion  of  blood,  would  spoil  the 
victim,  and  render  the  sacrifice  useless.  The  dogs 
are  then  painted  red  oh  their  faces,  edges  of  their 
ears,  and  on  various  parts  of  their  bodies,  and  are 
curiously  decorated  with  ribbons  of  different  colors, 
and  fine  feathers,  which  are  tied  and  fastened  on 
in  such  a  manner  as  to  make  the  most  elegant  ap- 
pearance. They  are  then  hung  on  a  post  near 
the  door  of  the  council-house,  at  the  height  of 
twenty  feet  from  the  ground. 

This  being  done,  the  frolic  is  commenced  by 
those  who  are  present,  while  the  committee  run 
through  the  tribe  or  town,  and  hurry  the  people 
to  assemble,  by  knocking  on  their  houses.  At 
this  time  the  committee  are  naked,  (wearing  only 
a  breech-clout,)  and  each  carries  a  paddle,  with 
which  he  takes  up  ashes  and  scatters  them  about 
the  house  in  every  direction.  In  the  course  of  the 
ceremonies,  all  the  fire  is  extinguished  in  every 
hut  throughout  the  tribe,  and  new  fire,  struck  from 
the  flint  on  each  hearth,  is  kindled,  after  having 
removed  the  whole  of  the  ashes,  old  coals,  &c. 
Having  done  this,  and  discharged  one  or  two  guns, 
they  go  on,  and  in  this  manner  they  proceed  till 
they  have  visited  every  house  in  the  tribe.  This 
finishes  the  business  of  the  first  day. 

On  the  second  day  the  committee  dance,  go 
through  the  town  with  bear-skin  on  their  legs,  and 
at  every  time  they  start  they  fire  a  gun.  They 
also  beg  through  the  tribe,  each  carrying  a  basket 
in  which  to  receive  whatever  may  be  bestowed. 
The  alms  consist  of  Indian  tobacco,  and  other  ar- 
ticles that  are  used  for  incense  at  the  sacrifice. 
Each  manager  at  this  time  carries  a  dried  tortoise 


or  turtle  shell,  containing  a  few  beans,  which  he 
frequently  rubs  on  the  walls  of  the  houses,  both 
inside  and  out.  This  kind  of  manoeuvering  by  the 
committee  continues  two  or  three  days,  during 
which  time  the  people  at  the  council-house  recre- 
ate themselves  by  dancing. 

On  the  fourth  or  fifth  day  the  committee  make 
false  faces  of  husks,  in  which  they  run  about, 
making  a  frightful  but  ludicrous  appearance.  In 
this  dress,  (still  wearing  the  bear-skin,)  they  run  to 
the  council-house,  smearing  themselves  with  dirt 
and  bedaub  every  one  who  refuses  to  contribute 
something  towards  filling  the  baskets  of  incense, 
which  they  continue  to  carry,  soliciting  alms. 
During  all  this  time  they  collect  the  evil  spirit,  or 
drive  it  off  entirely,  for  the  present,  and  also  con- 
centrate within  themselves  all  the  sins  of  their 
tribe,  however  numerous  or  heinous. 

On  the  eighth  or  ninth  day,  the  committee  hav- 
ing received  all  the  sin,  as  before  observed,  into 
their  own  bodies,  they  take  down  the  dogs,  and 
after  having  transfused  the  whole  of  it  into  one  of 
their  own  number,  he,  by  a  peculiar  slight  of  hand, 
or  kind  of  magic,  works  it  all  out  of  himself  into 
the  dogs.  The  dogs,  thus  loaded  with  all  the  sins 
of  the  people,  are  placed  upon  a  pile  of  wood  that 
is  directly  set  on  fire.  Here  they  are  burnt,  to- 
gether with  the  sins  with  which  they  were  loaded, 
surrounded  by  the  multitude,  who  throw  incense  of 
tobacco  or  the  like  into  the  fire,  the  scent  of  which 
they  say,  goes  up  to  Nauwaneu,  to  whom  it  is 
pleasant  and  acceptable.139 

This  feast  continues  nine  days,*  and  during  that 

*  At    present,    as    I   have    been    informed,    this    feast    is    not 


time  the  Chiefs  review  the  national  affairs  of  the 
year  past;  agree  upon  the  best  plan  to  be  pursued 
through  the  next  year,  and  attend  to  all  internal 

On  the  last  day,  the  whole  company  partake  of 
an  elegant  dinner,  consisting  of  meat,  corn  and 
beans,  boiled  together  in  large  kettles,  and  stirred 
till  the  whole  is  completely  mixed  and  soft.  This 
mess  is  devoured  without  much  ceremony — some 
eat  with  a  spoon,  by  dipping  out  of  the  kettles; 
others  serve  themselves  in  small  dippers;  some  in 
one  way,  and  some  in  another,  till  the  whole  is 
consumed.  After  this  they  perform  the  war  dance, 
the  peace  dance,  and  smoke  the  pipe  of  peace; 
and  then,  free  from  iniquity,  each  repairs  to  his 
place  of  abode,  prepared  to  commence  the  busi- 
ness of  a  new  year.  In  this  feast,  temperance  is 
observed,  and  commonly,  order  prevails  in  a  greater 
degree  than  would  naturally  be  expected. 

They  are  fond  of  the  company  of  spectators 
who  are  disposed  to  be  decent,  and  treat  them  po- 
litely in  their  way;  but  having  been  frequently 
imposed  upon  by  the  whites,  they  treat  them  gen- 
erally with  indifference. 


OF  these,  two  only  will  be  noticed.  The  war 
dance  is  said  to  have  originated  about  the  time 
that  the  Six  Nations,  or  Northern  Indians,  corn- 
commonly  held  more  than  from  five  to  seven  days.  In  for- 
mer times,  and  till  within  a  few  years,  nine  days  were  par- 
ticularly observed. 

1 68  APPENDIX. 

menced  the  old  war  with  the  Cherokees  and  other 
Southern  Indian  Nations,  about  one  hundred  years 

When  a  tribe,  or  number  of  tribes  of  the  Six 
Nations,  had  assembled  for  the  purpose  of  going 
to  battle  with  their  enemies,  the  Chiefs  sung  this 
song,  and  accompanied  the  music  with  dancing, 
and  gestures  that  corresponded  with  the  sentiments 
expressed,  as  a  kind  of  stimulant  to  increase  their 
courage,  and  anxiety  to  march  forward  to  the 
place  of  carnage. 

Those  days  having  passed  away,  the  Indians  at 
this  day  sing  the  'war  song/  to  commemorate  the 
achievements  of  their  fathers,  and  as  a  kind  of 
amusement.  When  they  perform  it,  they  arm 
themselves  with  a  war-club,  tomahawk  and  knife, 
and  commence  singing  with  firm  voice,  and  a  stern, 
resolute  countenance:  but  before  they  get  through 
they  exhibit  in  their  features  and  actions  the  most 
shocking  appearance  of  anger,  fury  and  vengeance, 
that  can  be  imagined:  No  exhibition  of  the  kind 
can  be  more  terrifying  to  a  stranger. 

The  song  requires  a  number  of  repetitions  in 
the  tune,  and  has  a  chorus  that  is  sung  at  the  end 
of  each  verse.  I  have  not  presumed  to  arrange  it 
in  metre;  but  the  following  is  the  substance:  "We 
are  assembled  in  the  habiliments  of  war,  and  will 
go  in  quest  of  our  enemies.  We  will  march  to 
their  land  and  spoil  their  possessions.  We  will 
take  their  women  and  children,  and  lead  them  into 
captivity.  The  warriors  shall  fall  by  our  war- 
clubs — we  will  give  them  no  quarter.  Our  toma- 
hawks we  will  dip  in  their  brains!  with  our  scalp- 
ing knives  we  will  scalp  them."  At  each  period 


comes  on  the  chorus,  which  consists  of  one  mono- 
syllable only,  that  is  sounded  a  number  of  times, 
and  articulated  like  a  faint,  stifled  groan.  This 
word  is  "eh,"  and  signifies  "we  will,"  or  "we  will 
go,"  or  "we  will  do."  While  singing,  they  per- 
form the  ceremony  of  killing  and  scalping,  with  a 
great  degree  of  dexterity. 

The  peace  dance  is  performed  to  a  tune  without 
words,  by  both  sexes.  The  Indians  stand  erect 
in  one  place,  and  strike  the  floor  with  the  heel  and 
toes  of  one  foot,  and  then  of  the  other,  (the  heels 
and  toes  all  the  while  nearly  level,)  without  chang- 
ing their  position  in  the  least.  The  squaws  at  the 
same  time  perform  it  by  keeping  the  feet  close  to- 
gether, and  without  raising  them  from  the  ground, 
move  a  short  distance  to  the  right,  and  then  to  the 
left,  by  first  moving  their  toes  and  then  their  heels. 
This  dance  is  beautiful,  and  is  generally  attended 
with  decency. 


THEIR  government  is  an  oligarchy  of  a  mixed 
nature;  and  is  administered  by  Chiefs,  a  part  of 
whose  offices  are  hereditary,  and  a  part  elective. 
The  nation  is  divided  into  tribes,  and  each  tribe 
commonly  has  two  Chiefs.  One  of  these  inherits 
his  office  from  his  father.  He  superintends  all 
civil  affairs  in  the  tribe;  attends  the  national  coun- 
cil, of  which  he  is  a  member;  assents  to  all  convey- 
ances of  land,  and  is  consulted  on  every  subject 
of  importance.  The  other  is  elected  by  the  tribe, 
and  can  be  removed  at  the  pleasure  of  his  constit- 
12  P 


uents  for  malconduct.  He  also  is  a  member  of  the 
national  council:  but  his  principal  business  is  to 
superintend  the  military  concerns  of  his  tribe,  and 
in  war  to  lead  his  warriors  to  battle.  He  acts  in 
concert  with  the  other  Chief,  and  their  word  is  im- 
plicitly relied  on,  as  the  law  by  which  they  must  be 
governed.  That  which  they  prohibit,  is  not  med- 
dled with.  The  Indian  laws  are  few,  and  easily 
expounded.  Their  business  of  a  public  nature  is 
transacted  in  council,  where  every  decision  is  final. 
They  meet  in  general  council  once  a  year,  and 
sometimes  oftener.  The  administration  of  their 
government  is  not  attended  with  expense.  They 
have  no  national  revenue,  and  consequently  have 
no  taxes.141 


THE  Six  Nations  in  the  state  of  New- York  are 
located  upon  several  reservations,  from  the  Oneida 
Lake  to  the  Cattaraugus  and  Allegany  rivers. 

A  part  of  those  nations  live  oil  the  Sandusky,  in 
the  state  of  Ohio,  viz — 380  Cayugas,  100  Senecas, 
64  Mohawks,  64  Oneidas,  and  80  Onondagas. 
The  bulk  of  the  Mohawks  are  on  Grand  River, 
Upper  Canada,  together  with  some  Senecas,  Tus- 
caroras,  Cayugas,  Oneidas,  and  Onondagas. 

In  the  state  of  New- York  there  are  5000,  and  in 
the  state  of  Ohio  688,  as  we  are  assured  by  Capt. 
Horatio  Jones,  agent  for  paying  their  annuities, 
making  in  the  whole,  in  both  states,  5688. 142 



WHEN  an  Indian  sees  a  squaw  whom  he  fancies, 
he  sends  a  present  to  her  mother  or  parents,  who 
on  receiving  it  consult  with  his  parents,  his  friends, 
and  each  other,  on  the  propriety  and  expediency 
of  the  proposed  connexion.  If  it  is  not  agreeable, 
the  present  is  returned;  but  if  it  is,  the  lover  is 
informed  of  his  good  fortune,  and  immediately  goes 
to  live  with  her,  or  takes  her  to  a  hut  of  his  own 

Polygamy  144  is  practised  in  a  few  instances,  and  is 
not  prohibited. 

Divorces  are  frequent.  If  a  difficulty  of  impor- 
tance arises  between  a  married  couple,  they  agree 
to  separate.  They  divide  their  property  and  chil- 
dren; the  squaw  takes  the  girls,  the  Indian  the  boys, 
and  both  are  at  liberty  to  marry  again. 

They  have  no  marriage  ceremony,  nor  form  of 
divorcement,  other  than  what  has  been  mentioned.145"6 


IN  their  families,  parents  are  very  mild,  and  the 
mother  superintends  the  children.  The  word  of 
the  Indian  father,  however,  is  law,  and  must  be 
obeyed  by  the  whole  that  are  under  his  authority. 

One  thing  respecting  the  Indian  women  is  wor- 
thy of  attention,  and  perhaps  of  imitation,  although 
it  is  now  a  days  considered  beneath  the  dignity  of 
the  ladies,  especially  those  who  are  the  most  refin- 
ed; and  that  is,  they  are  under  a  becoming  subjec- 
tion to  their  husbands.  It  is  a  rule,  inculcated  in 


all  the  Indian  tribes,  and  practised  throughout  their 
generations,  that  a  squaw  shall  not  walk  before  her 
Indian,  nor  pretend  to  take  the  lead  in  his  business. 
And  for  this  reason  we  never  can  see  a  party  on 
the  march  to  or  from  hunting  and  the  like,  in  which 
the  squaws  are  not  directly  in  the  rear  of  their 


THE  deceased  having  been  laid  out  in  his  best 
clothing,  is  put  into  a  coffin  of  boards  or  bark,  and 
with  him  is  deposited,  in  every  instance,  a  small  cup 
and  a  cake.  Generally  two  or  three  candles  are 
also  put  into  the  coffin,  and  in  a  few  instances,  at 
the  burial  of  a  great  man,  all  his  implements  of 
war  are  buried  by  the  side  of  the  body.  The  coffin 
is  then  closed  and  carried  to  the  grave.  On  its 
being  let  down,  the  person  who  takes  the  lead  of 
the  solemn  transaction,  or  a  Chief,  addresses  the 
dead  in  a  short  speech,  in  which  he  charges  him 
not  to  be  troubled  about  himself  in  his  new  situa- 
tion, nor  on  his  journey,  and  not  to  trouble  his 
friends,  wife  or  children,  whom  he  has  left.  Tells 
him  that  if  he  meets  with  strangers  on  his  way,  he 
must  inform  them  what  tribe  he  belongs  to,  who  his 
relatives  are,  the  situation  in  which  he  left  them, 
and  that  having  done  this,  he  must  keep  on  till  he 
arrives  at  the  good  fields  in  the  country  of  Nau- 
waneu.  That  when  he  arrives  there  he  will  see 
all  his  ancestors  and  personal  friends  that  have 
gone  before  him;  who,  together  with  all  the 
Chiefs  of  celebrity,  will  receive  him  joyfully,  and 


furnish  him  with  every  article  of  perpetual  happi- 

The  grave  is  now  filled  and  left  till  evening, 
when  some  of  the  nearest  relatives  of  the  dead  build 
a  fire  at  the  head  of  it,  near  which  they  set  till 
morning.  In  this  way  they  continue  to  practise 
nine  successive  nights,  when,  believing  that  their 
departed  friend  has  arrived  at  the  end  of  his  jour- 
ney, they  discontinue  their  attention.  During  this 
time  the  relatives  of  the  dead  are  not  allowed  to 

Formerly,  frolics  were  held,  after  the  expiration 
of  nine  days,  for  the  dead,  at  which  all  the  squaws 
got  drunk,  and  those  were  the  only  occasions  on 
which  they  were  intoxicated:  but  lately  those  are 
discontinued,  and  squaws  feel  no  delicacy  in  get- 
ting inebriated.147 


As  ignorance  is  the  parent  of  credulity,  it  is  not 
a  thing  to  be  wondered  at  that  the  Indians  should 
possess  it  in  a  great  degree,  and  even  suffer  them- 
selves to  be  dictated  and  governed  by  it  in  many 
of  the  most  important  transactions  of  their  lives. 

They  place  great  confidence  in  dreams,  attach 
some  sign  to  every  uncommon  circumstance,  and 
believe  in  charms,  spirits,  and  many  supernatural 
things  that  never  existed,  only  in  minds  enslaved 
to  ignorance  and  tradition:  but  in  no  instance  is 
their  credulity  so  conspicuous,  as  in  their  unalter- 
able belief  in  witches. 



They  believe  there  are  many  of  these,  and  that 
next  to  the  author  of  evil,  they  are  the  greatest 
scourge  to  their  people.  The  term  witch,  by  them, 
is  used  both  in  the  masculine  and  feminine  gender, 
and  denotes  a  person  to  whom  the  evil  deity  has 
delegated  power  to  inflict  diseases,  cause  death, 
blast  corn,  bring  bad  weather,  and  in  short  to  cause 
almost  any  calamity  to  which  they  are  liable. 
With  this  impression,  and  believing  that  it  is  their 
actual  duty  to  destroy,  as  far  as  lies  in  their  power, 
every  source  of  unhappiness,  it  has  been  a  custom 
among  them  from  time  immemorial,  to  destroy 
every  one  that  they  could  convict  of  so  heinous  a 
crime;  and  in  fact  there  is  no  reprieve  from  the 

Mrs.  Jemison  informed  us  that  more  or  less  who 
had  been  charged  with  being  witches,  had  been 
executed  in  almost  every  year  since  she  has  lived 
on  the  Genesee.  Many,  on  being  suspected,  made 
their  escape:  while  others,  before  they  were  aware 
of  being  implicated,  have  been  apprehended  and 
brought  to  trial.  She  says  that  a  number  of  years 
ago,  an  Indian  chased  a  squaw,  near  Beard's 
Town,  and  caught  her;  but  on  the  account  of  her 
great  strength  she  got  away.  The  Indian,  vexed 
and  disappointed,  went  home,  and  the  next  day 
reported  that  he  saw  her  have  fire  in  her  mouth, 
and  that  she  was  a  witch.  Upon  this  she  was  ap- 
prehended and  killed  immediately.  She  was  Big- 
tree's  cousin.  Mrs.  Jemison  says  she  was  present 
at  the  execution.  She  also  saw  one  other  killed 
and  thrown  into  the  river. 

Col.  Jeremiah  Smith,  of  Leicester,  near  Beard's 
Town,  saw  an  Indian  killed  by  his  five  brothers, 


who  struck  him  on  the  head  with  their  toma- 
hawks at  one  time.  He  was  charged  with  being  a 
witch,  because  of  his  having  been  fortunate  enough, 
when  on  a  hunting  party,  to  kill  a  number  of  deer, 
while  his  comrades  failed  of  taking  any. 

Col.  Smith  also  saw  a  squaw,  who  had  been  con- 
victed of  being  a  witch,  killed  by  having  small 
green  whips  burnt  till  they  were  red  hot,  but  not 
quite  coaled,  and  thrust  down  her  throat.  From 
such  trifling  causes  thousands  have  lost  their  lives, 
and  notwithstanding  the  means  that  are  used  for 
their  reformation,  the  pagans  will  not  suffer  "a 
witch  to  live." 


IT  is  well  known  that  the  squaws  have  all  the 
labor  of  the  field  to  perform,  and  almost  every 
other  kind  of  hard  service,  which,  in  civil  society, 
is  performed  by  the  men.  In  order  to  expedite 
their  business,  and  at  the  same  time  enjoy  each 
other's  company,  they  all  work  together  in  one 
field,  or  at  whatever  job  they  may  have  on  hand. 
In  the  spring  they  choose  an  old  active  squaw  to 
be  their  driver  and  overseer  when  at  labor,  for  the 
ensuing  year.  She  accepts  the  honor,  and  they 
consider  themselves  bound  to  obey  her. 

When  the  time  for  planting  arrives,  and  the  soil 
is  prepared,  the  squaws  are  assembled  in  the  morn 
ing,  and  conducted  into  a  field,  where  each  plants 
one   row.     They  then   go   into   the   next   field,   and 
plant  once  across,   and   so  on  till  they  have  gone 


through  the  tribe.  If  any  remains  to  be  planted, 
they  again  commence  where  they  did  at  first,  (in 
the  same  field,)  and  so  keep  on  till  the  whole  is 
finished.  By  this  rule  they  perform  their  labor  of 
every  kind,  and  every  jealousy  of  one  having  done 
more  or  less  than  another,  is  effectually  avoided. 

Each  squaw  cuts  her  own  wood;  but  it  is  all 
brought  to  the  house  under  the  direction  of  the 
overseer — each  bringing  one  back  load. 


THIS  is  done  by  moons  and  winters:  a  moon  is 
a  month,  and  the  time  from  the  end  of  one  winter 
to  that  of  another,  a  year. 

From  sunset  till  sunrise,  they  say  that  the  sun  is 
asleep.  In  the  old  of  the  moon,  when  it  does  not 
shine  in  the  night,  they  say  it  is  dead.  They  re- 
joice greatly  at  the  sight  of  the  new  moon. 

In  order  to  commemorate  great  events,  and  pre- 
serve thec  hronology  of  them,  the  war  Chief  in  each 
tribe  keeps  a  war  post.  This  post  is  a  peeled  stick 
of  timber,  10  or  12  feet  high,  that  is  erected  in  the 
town.  For  a  campaign  they  make,  or  rather  the 
Chief  makes,  a  perpendicular  red  mark,  about  three 
inches  long  and  half  an  inch  wide;  on  the  opposite 
side  from  this,  for  a  scalp,  they  make  a  red  cross, 
thus,  -f;  on  another  side,  for  a  prisoner  taken 
alive,  they  make  a  red  cross  in  this  manner,  X, 
with  a  head  or  dot,  and  by  placing  such  significant 
hireoglyphics  in  so  conspicuous  a  situation,  they 



are   enabled   to   ascertain   with   great   certainty   the 
time  and  circumstances  of  past  events. 

Hiokatoo  had  a  war-post,  on  which  was  recorded 
his  military  exploits,  and  other  things  that  he  tho't 
worth  preserving. 


HIOKATOO  used  to  say  that  when  he  was  a  young 
man,  there  lived  in  the  same  tribe  with  him  an  old 
Indian  warrior,  who  was  a  great  counsellor,  by  the 
name  of  Buck-in-je-hil-lish.  Buckinjehillish  hav- 
ing, with  great  fatigue,  attended  the  council  when 
it  was  deliberating  upon  war,  declared  that  none 
but  the  ignorant  made  war,  but  that  the  wise  men 
and  the  warriors  had  to  do  the  righting.  This 
speech  exasperated  his  countrymen  to  such  a  de- 
gree that  he  was  apprehended  and  tried  for  being 
a  witch,  on  the  account  of  his  having  lived  to  so 
advanced  an  age;  and  because  he  could  not  show 
some  reason  why  he  had  not  died  before,  he  was 
sentenced  to  be  tomahawked  by  a  boy  on  the  spot, 
which  was  accordingly  done. 

IN  the  last  war,  (1814,)  an  Indian  who  had  been 
on  fatigue,  called  at  a  commissary's  and  begged 
some  bread.  He  was  sent  for  a  pail  of  water  be- 
fore he  received  it,  and  while  he  was  absent  an 
officer  told  the  commissary  to  put  a  piece  of  money 
into  the  bread,  and  observe  the  event.  He  did  so. 
The  Indian  took  the  bread  and  went  off:  but  on 
the  next  day  having  ate  his  bread  and  found  the 


money,  he  came  to  the  commissary  and  gave  him 
the  same,  as  the  officer  had  anticipated. 

LITTLE  BEARD,  a  celebrated  Indian  Chief,  having 
arrived  to  a  very  advanced  age,  died  at  his  town 
on  the  Genesee  river  about  the  first  of  June,  1806, 
and  was  buried  after  the  manner  of  burying  chiefs. 
In  his  life  time  he  had  been  quite  arbitrary,  and 
had  made  some  enemies  whom  he  hated,  probably, 
and  was  not  loved  by  them.  The  grave,  however, 
deprives  envy  of  its  malignity,  and  revenge  of  its 

Little  Beard  had  been  dead  but  a  few  days  when 
the  great  eclipse  of  the  sun  took  place,  on  the  six- 
teenth of  June,  which  excited  in  the  Indians  a  great 
degree  of  astonishment;  for  as  they  were  ignorant 
of  astronomy,  they  were  totally  unqualified  to  ac- 
count for  so  extraordinary  a  phenomenon.  The 
crisis  was  alarming,  and  something  effectual  must 
be  done,  without  delay,  to  remove,  if  possible,  the 
cause  of  such  coldness  and  darkness,  which  it  was 
expected  would  increase.  They  accordingly  ran 
together  in  the  three  towns  near  the  Genesee  river, 
and  after  a  short  consultation  agreed  that  Little 
Beard,  on  the  account  of  some  old  grudge  which 
he  yet  cherished  towards  them,  had  placed  himself 
between  them  and  the  sun,  in  order  that  their  corn 
might  not  grow,  and  so  reduce  them  to  a  state  of 
starvation.  Having  thus  found  the  cause,  the  next 
thing  was  to  remove  it,  which  could  only  be  done 
by  the  use  of  powder  and  ball.  Upon  this,  every 
gun  and  rifle  was  loaded,  and  a  firing  commenced, 
that  continued  without  cessation  till  the  old  fellow 
left  his  seat,  and  the  obscurity  was  entirely  remov- 


ed,  to  the  great  joy  of  the  ingenious  and  fortunate 

IN  the  month  of  February,  1824,  Corn  Planter, 
a  learned  pagan  Chief  at  Tonnewonta,  died  of  com- 
mon sickness.  He  had  received  a  liberal  education, 
and  was  held  in  high  estimation  in  his  town  and 
tribe,  by  both  parties;  but  the  pagans  more  partic- 
ularly mourned  his  loss  deeply,  and  seemed  entirely 
unreconciled.  They  imputed  his  death  to  witch- 
craft, and  charged  an  Indian  by  the  name  of 
Prompit,  with  the  crime. 

Mr.  Prompit  is  a  christian  Indian,  of  the  Tusca- 
rora  nation,  who  has  lived  at  Tonnewonta  a  number 
of  years,  where  he  has  built  a  saw-mill  himself, 
which  he  owns,  and  is  considered  a  decent,  respect- 
able man. 

About  two  weeks  after  the  death  of  Corn  Planter, 
Mr.  Prompit  happened  in  company  where  the  au- 
thor was  present,  and  immediately  begun  to  con- 
verse upon  that  subject.  He  said  that  the  old 
fashioned  Indians  called  him  a  witch — believed 
that  he  had  killed  Corn  Planter,  and  had  said  that 
they  would  kill  him.  But,  said  he,  all  good  people 
know  that  I  am  not  a  witch,  and  that  I  am  clear  of 
the  charge.  Likely  enough  they  will  kill  me;  but 
if  they  do,  my  hands  are  clean,  my  conscience  is 
clear,  and  I  shall  go  up  to  God.  I  will  not  run  nor 
hide  from  them,  and  they  may  kill  me  if  they 
choose  to — I  am  innocent.  When  Jesus  Christ's 
enemies,  said  he,  wanted  to  kill  him,  he  did  not 
run  away  from  them,  but  let  them  kill  him;  and 
why  should  I  run  away  from  my  enemies  ? 

How  the  affair  will  terminate,  we  are  unable  to 



FROM  Mount  Morris  the  banks  of  the  Genesee 
are  from  two  to  four  hundred  feet  in  height,  with 
narrow  flats  on  one  side  of  the  river  or  the  other, 
till  you  arrive  at  the  tract  called  Gardow,  or  Cross 
Hills.  Here  you  come  to  Mrs.  Jemison's  flats, 
which  are  two  miles  and  a  quarter  long,  and  from 
eighty  to  one  hundred  and  twenty  rods  wide,  lying 
mostly  on  the  west  side  of  the  river. 

Near  the  upper  end  of  these  flats  is  the  Great 
Slide.  Directly  above  this,  the  banks  (still  retain- 
ing their  before  mentioned  height)  approach  so 
near  each  other  as  to  admit  of  but  thirty  acres  of 
flat  on  one  side  of  the  river  only,  and  above  this 
the  perpendicular  rock  comes  down  to  the  water. 

From  Gardow  you  ascend  the  river  five  miles  to 
the  lower  falls,  which  are  ninety-three  feet  perpen- 
dicular. These  falls  are  twenty  rods  wide,  and 
have  the  greatest  channel  on  the  east  side.  From 
Wolf  creek  to  these  falls  the  banks  are  covered 
with  elegant  white  and  Norway  pine. 

Above  the  lower  falls  the  banks  for  about  two 
miles  are  of  perpendicular  rock,  and  retain  their 
height  of  between  two  and  four  hundred  feet. 
Having  travelled  this  distance  you  reach  the  mid- 
dle falls,  which  are  an  uninterrupted  sheet  of  water 
fifteen  rods  wide,  and  one  hundred  and  ten  feet  in 
perpendicular  height.  This  natural  curiosity  is 
not  exceeded  by  any  thing  of  the  kind  in  the 
western  country,  except  the  cataract  at  Niagara. 

From  the  middle  falls  the  banks  gradually  rise, 
ill  you  ascend  the  river  half  a  mile,  when  you 


come  to  the  upper  falls,  which  are  somewhat  roll- 
ing, 66  feet,  in  the  shape  of  a  harrow.  Above  this 
the  banks  are  of  moderate  height.  The  timber 
from  the  lower  to  the  upper  falls  is  principally  pine. 
Just  above  the  middle  falls  a  saw-mill  was  erected 
this  season  (1823)  by  Messrs.  Ziba  Hurd  and  Alva 


IN  November,  1822,  Capt.  Stephen  Rolph  and 
Mr.  Alva  Palmer  drove  a  deer  into  Genesee  river, 
a  short  distance  above  the  middle  falls,  where  the 
banks  were  so  steep  and  the  current  so  impetuous, 
that  it  could  not  regain  the  shore,  and  consequent- 
ly was  precipitated  over  the  falls,  one  hundred  and 
ten  feet,  into  the  gulph  below.  The  hunters  ran 
along  the  bank  below  the  falls,  to  watch  the  fate  of 
the  animal,  expecting  it  would  be  dashed  in  pieces. 
But  to  their  great  astonishment  it  came  up  alive, 
and  by  swimming  across  a  small  eddy,  reached  the 
bank  almost  under  the  falls;  and  as  it  stood  in  that 
situation,  Capt.  Rolph,  who  was  on  the  top  of  the 
bank,  shot  it.  This  being  done,  the  next  thing  to 
be  considered  was,  how  to  get  their  prize.  The 
rock  being  perpendicular,  upwards  of  one  hundred 
feet,  would  not  admit  of  their  climbing  down  to  it, 
and  there  was  no  way,  apparently,  for  them  to  get 
at  it,  short  of  going  down  the  river  two  miles,  to 
the  lower  falls,  and  then  by  creeping  between  the 
water  and  the  precipice,  they  might  possibly  reach 
their  game.  This  process  would  be  too  tedious. 
At  length  Mr.  Palmer  proposed  to  Capt.  Rolph 



and  Mr.  Heman  Merwin,  who  had  joined  them, 
that  if  they  would  make  a  windlas  and  fasten  it  to 
a  couple  of  saplings  that  stood  near,  and  then 
procure  some  ropes,  he  would  be  let  down  and  get 
the  deer.  The  apparatus  was  prepared;  the  rope 
was  tied  round  Palmer's  body,  and  he  was  let  down. 
On  arriving  at  the  bottom  he  unloosed  himself, 
fastened  the  rope  round  the  deer,  which  they  drew 
up,  and  then  threw  down  the  rope,  in  which  he 
fastened  himself,  and  was  drawn  up,  without  hav- 
ing sustained  any  injury.  From  the  top  to  the  bot- 
tom of  the  rock,  where  he  was  let  down,  was  ex- 
actly one  hundred  and  twenty  feet. 





Introduction.  7 


Nativity  of  her  Parents.  Their  removal  to  Amer- 
ica. Her  Birth.  Parents  settle  in  Pennsylvania. 
Omen  of  her  Captivity.  .  .  .  .  17 


Her  education.  Captivity.  Journey  to  Fort  Pitt. 
Mother's  Farewell  Address.  Murder  of  her  Family. 
Preparation  of  the  Scalps.  Indian  Precautions. 
Arrival  at  Fort  Pitt,  &c.  .  23 


She  is  given  to  two  Squaws.  Her  Journey  down 
the  Ohio.  Passes  a  Shawnee  town,  where  white 
men  had  just  been  burnt.  Arrives  at  the  Seneca 
town.  Her  Reception.  She  is  Adopted.  Ceremo- 
ny of  Adoption.  Indian  Custom.  Address.  She 
receives  a  new  name.  Her  Employment.  Retains 
her  own  and  learns  the  Seneca  Language.  Situation 
of  the  Town,  &c.  Indians  go  on  a  Hunting  Tour  to 
Sciota,  and  take  her  with  them.  Returns.  She  is 
taken  to  Fort  Pitt,  and  then  hurried  back  by  her 
Indian  Sisters.  Her  hopes  of  Liberty  destroyed. 
Second  Tour  to  Sciota.  Return  to  Wiishto,  &c. 
Arrival  of  Prisoners.  Priscilla  Ramsay.  Her  Chain. 
Mary  marries  a  Delaware.  Her  Affection  for  him. 
Birth  and  Death  of  her  first  Child.  Her  Sickness 
and  Recovery.  Birth  of  Thomas  Jemison.  .  33 



She  leaves  Wiishto  for  Fort  Pitt,  in  company  with 
her  Husband.  Her  feelings  on  setting  out.  Contrast 
between  the  Labor  of  the  White  and  Indian  Women. 
Deficiency  of  Arts  amongst  the  Indians.  Their  for- 
mer Happiness.  Baleful  effects  of  Civilization, 
and  the  introduction  of  ardent  Spirits  amongst  them, 
&c.  Journey  up  the  River.  Murder  of  three  Trad- 
ers by  the  Shawnees.  Her  Husband  stops  at  a 
Trading  House.  Wantonness  of  the  Shawnees. 
Moves  up  the  Sandusky.  Meets  her  Brother  from 
Genishau.  Her  Husband  goes  to  Wiishto,  and  she 
sets  out  for  Genishau  in  company  with  her  Brothers. 
They  arrive  at  Sandusky.  Occurrences  at  that 
place.  Her  Journey  to  Genishau,  and  Reception  by 
her  Mother  and  Friends.  ....  46 


Indians  march  to  Niagara  to  fight  the  British. 
Return  with  two  Prisoners,  &c.  Sacrifice  them  at 
Fall  Brook.  Her  Indian  Mother's  Address  to  her 
Daughter.  Death  of  her  Husband.  Bounty  offered 
for  the  Prisoners  taken  in  the  last  War.  John  Van 
Sice  attempts  to  take  her  to  procure  her  Ransom. 
Her  Escape.  Edict  of  the  Chiefs.  Old  King  of 
the  tribe  determines  to  have  her  given  up.  Her 
brother  threatens  her  Life.  Her  narrow  Escape. 
The  old  King  goes  off.  Her  brother  is  informed  of 
the  place  of  her  concealment,  and  conducts  her 
home.  Marriage  to  her  second  Husband.  Names 
of  her  Children. 54 


Peace  amongst  the  Indians.  Celebrations.  Wor- 
ship. Exercises.  Business  of  the  Tribes.  Former 
Happiness  of  the  Indians  in  time  of  peace,  extolled. 
Their  Morals;  Fidelity;  Honesty;  Chastity;  Tem- 
perance. Indians  called  to  German  Flats.  Treaty 


with  Americans.  They  are  sent  for  by  the  British 
Commissioners,  and  go  to  Oswego.  Promises  made 
by  those  Commissioners.  Greatness  of  the  King  of 
England.  Reward  that  was  paid  them  for  joining 
the  British.  They  make  a  Treaty.  Bounty  offered 
for  Scalps.  Return  richly  dressed  and  equipped. 
In  1776,  they  kill  a  man  at  Cautega,  to  provoke  the 
Americans.  Prisoners  taken  at  Cherry  Valley, 
brought  to  Beard's  Town;  Redeemed,  &c.  Battle 
at  Fort  Stanwix.  Indians  suffer  a  great  Loss. — 
Mourning  at  Beard's  Town.  Mrs.  Jemison's  care 
of,  and  services  rendered,  to  Butler  and  Brandt.  62 


Gen.  Sullivan  with  a  large  Army  arrives  at  Can- 
andaigua.  Indians'  Troubles.  Determine  to  stop 
their  March.  Skirmish  at  Connissius  Lake.  Cir- 
cumstances attending  the  Execution  of  an  Oneida 
Warrior.  Escape  of  an  Indian  Prisoner.  Lieut. 
Boyd  and  another  man  taken  Prisoners.  Cruelty 
of  Boyd's  Execution.  Indians  retreat  to  the  Woods. 
Sullivan  comes  on  to  Genesee  Flats  and  destroys 
the  Property  of  the  Indians.  Returns.  Indians 
Return.  Mrs.  Jemison  goes  to  Gardow.  Her  Em- 
ployment there.  Attention  of  an  old  Negro  to  her 
Safety,  &c.  Severe  Winter.  Sufferings  of  the 
Indians.  Destruction  of  Game.  Indians'  Expedi- 
tion to  the  Mohawk.  Capture  old  John  O'Bail,  &c. 
Other  Prisoners  taken,  &c.  ....  69 


Life  of  Ebenezer  Allen,  a  Tory.  He  comes  to 
Gardow.  His  intimacy  with  Nanticoke  Squaw. 
She  gives  him  a  Cap.  Her  Husband's  Jealousy. 
Cruelty  to  his  Wife.  Hiokatoo's  Mandate.  Allen 
supports  her.  Her  Husband  is  received  into  favor. 
Allen  Labors.  Purchases  Goods.  Stops  the  Indian 
War.  His  Troubles  with  the  Indians.  Marries  a 


Squaw.  Is  taken  and  carried  to  Quebec.  Acquitted. 
Goes  to  Philadelphia.  Returns  to  Genesee  with  a 
Store  of  Goods,  &c.  Goes  to  Farming.  Moves  to 
Allen's  Creek.  Builds  Mills  at  Rochester.  Drowns 
a  Dutchman.  Marries  a  White  Wife.  Kills  an  old 
Man.  Gets  a  Concubine.  Moves  to  Mount  Morris. 
Marries  a  third  Wife,  and  gets  another  Concubine. 
Receives  a  tract  of  Land.  Sends  his  Children  to 
other  States,  &c.  Disposes  of  his  Land.  Moves  to 
Grand  River,  where  he  Dies.  His  Cruelties.  79 


Mrs.  Jemison  has  liberty  to  go  to  her  Friends. 
Chooses  to  stay.  Her  Reasons,  &c.  Her  Indian 
brother  makes  provision  for  her  settlement.  He  goes 
to  Grand  River,  and  dies.  Her  love  for  him,  &c. 
She  is  presented  with  the  Gardow  Reservation. 
Description  of  the  Soil,  &c.  of  her  Flats.  Indian 
notions  of  the  ancient  Inhabitants  of  this  country.  92 


Happy  situation  of  her  Family.  Disagreement 
between  her  sons  Thomas  and  John.  Her  Advice 
to  them,  &c.  John  kills  Thomas.  Her  Affliction. 
Council.  Decision  of  the  Chiefs,  &c.  Life  of 
Thomas.  His  Wives,  Children,  &c.  Cause  of  his 
Death,  &c.  96 


Death  of  Hiokatoo.  Biography.  His  Birth;  Ed- 
ucation. Goes  against  the  Cherokees,  &c.  Bloody 
Battle,  &c.  His  success  and  cruelties  in  the  French 
War.  Battle  at  Fort  Freeland.  Capts.  Dougherty 
and  Boon  killed.  His  Cruelties  in  the  neighborhood 
of  Cherry  Valley,  &c.  Indians  remove  their  general 
Encampment.  In  1782,  Col.  Crawford  is  sent  to 
destory  them,  &c.  Is  met  by  a  Traitor.  Battle. 
Crawford's  men  surprized.  Irregular  Retreat. — 


Crawford  and  Doct.  Night  taken.  Council.  Craw- 
ford is  Condemned  and  Burnt.  Aggravating  cir- 
cumstances. Night  is  sentenced  to  be  Burnt.  Is 
Painted  by  Hiokatoo.  Is  conducted  off,  &c.  His 
fortunate  Escape.  Hiokatoo,  in  the  French  War, 
takes  Col.  Canton.  His  Sentence.  Is  bound  on  a 
wild  Colt,  that  runs  loose  two  days.  Returns  Alive. 
Is  made  to  run  the  Gauntlet.  Gets  knocked  down, 
&c.  Is  Redeemed  and  sent  home.  Hiokatoo's 
Enmity  to  the  Cherokees,  &c.  His  Height — 
Strength — Speed,  &c.  ....  103 


Her  Troubles  renewed.  John's  Jealousy  towards 
his  brother  Jesse.  Circumstances  attending  the 
Murder  of  Jesse  Jemison.  Her  Grief.  His  Fu- 
neral— Age — Filial  Kindness,  &c.  .  .  118 


Mrs.  Jemison  is  informed  that  she  has  a  Cousin 
in  the  Neighborhood,  by  the  name  of  George  Jemi- 
son. His  Poverty.  Her  Kindness.  His  Ingrati- 
tude. Her  Trouble  from  Land  Speculation.  Her 
Cousin  moves  off.  122 


Another  Family  Affliction.  Her  son  John's  Oc- 
cupation. He  goes  to  Buffalo — Returns.  Great 
Slide  by  him  considered  Ominous.  Trouble,  &c. 
He  goes  to  Squawky  Hill — Quarrels — Is  murdered 
by  two  Indians.  His  Funeral — Mourners,  &c. 
His  disposition.  Ominous  Dream.  Black  Chiefs 
Advice,  &c.  His  widows  and  Family.  His  Age. 
His  Murderers  flee.  Her  Advice  to  them.  They 
set  out  to  leave  their  Country.  Their  Uncle's 
Speech  to  them  on  parting.  They  return.  Jack 
proposes  to  Doctor  to  kill  each  other.  Doctor's 
Speech  in  reply.  Jack's  Suicide.  Doctor's  Death.  126 



Micah  Brooks,  Esq.  volunteers  to  get  the  Title 
to  her  Land  confirmed  to  herself.  She  is  Natur- 
alized. Great  Council  of  Chiefs,  &c.  in  Sept. 
1823.  She  disposes  of  her  Reservation.  Reserves 
a  Tract  2  miles  long,  and  i  mile  wide,  &c.  The 
Consideration  how  paid,  &c.  .  .  .  134 


Conclusion.  Review  of  her  Life.  Reflections 
on  the  loss  of  Liberty.  Care  she  took  to  preserve 
her  Health.  Indians'  abstemiousness  in  Drinking, 
after  the  French  War.  Care  of  their  Lives,  &c. 
General  use  of  Spirits.  Her  natural  Strength. 
Purchase  of  her  first  Cow.  Means  by  which  she 
has  been  supplied  with  Food.  Suspicions  of  her 
having  been  a  Witch.  Her  Constancy.  Number 
of  Children.  Number  Living.  Their  Residence. 
Closing  Reflection 139 


An  account  of  the  destruction  of  a  part  of  the 
British  Army,  by  the  Indians,  at  a  place  called  the 
Devil's  Hole,  on  the  Niagara  River,  in  the  year  1763.  145 

A  particular  Account  of  Gen.  Sullivan's  Expe- 
dition against  the  Indians,  in  the  western  part  of  the 
State  of  New- York,  in  1779.  .  .  .  149 

Tradition  of  the  Origin  of  the  Seneca  Nation. 
Their  Preservation  from  utter  Extinction.  The 
Means  by  which  the  People  who  preceded  the 
Senecas,  were  Destroyed — and  the  Cause  of  the 
different  Indian  Languages.  .  .  .  157 

Of    their     Religion — Feasts — and    great     Sacrifice.  159 

Of  their  Dances.  167 

Of  their  Government.  ,        ,        ,        .         169 


The  Extent  and  Number  of  the  Six  Nations.  170 

Of  their  Courtships,  &c 171 

Of  Family  Government ib. 

Of  their  Funerals.  172 

Of  their  Credulity.  173 

Of  the  Manner  of  Farming,  as  practised  by  the 

Indian  Women.  175 

Of  their  Method  of  Computing  Time,  and 

Keeping  their  Records.  .  .  .  .  176 

Anecdotes.  177 

Description  of  Genesee  River  and  its  Banks,  from 

Mount  Morris  to  the  Upper  Falls.  .  .  .  180 

Hunting  Anecdote.  181 




CHAPTER  !."• 

Life  of  Mary  continued. — Seneca  Reservations  sold  in  1825. 
— Is  left  among  the  whites. — Discontented. — Sold  her 
remaining  reservation,  and  removed  to  Buffalo  creek. — 
Professes  Christianity. — Her  death. — Is  buried  near  the 
Mission  church. — Description  of  her  tombstone. — Her 

MORE  than  eighteen  years  have  elapsed  since  Mary 
Jemison  related  the  preceding  narrative  of  her  life,  and 
most  of  its  appendages,  to  our  deceased  friend,  the  au- 
thor of  the  first  edition;  during  which  period  many  im- 
portant incidents  have  transpired,  and  material 
changes  taken  place  involving  the  destiny  of  the 
principal  subject  of  this  memoir,  her  family  and 
friends,  although  none  very  remarkable  or  unex- 

Mary  Jemison  continued  to  reside  on  her  flats,  plant, 
hoe,  and  harvest  her  corn,  beans,  squashes,  etc.,  an- 
nually, in  the  same  routine  of  laborious  activity  and 
undisturbed  tranquility,  which  she  had  always  pur- 
sued and  enjoyed,  in  times  of  peace  in  the  nation,  and 
concord  in  her  family.  But  the  evening  of  her  event- 
ful life  was  not  suffered  thus  smoothly  to  pass  away. 
The  Senecas  having  sold  all  their  reservations  on  the 
Genesee  River  in  1825,  and  given  possession  to  the 
whites  soon  after,  they  removed  with  their  families  to 

194  LIFE  OF 

Tonawanda,  Buffalo  Creek,  and  Cattaraugus  reser- 
vations, leaving  Mrs.  Jemison,  her  daughters,  and 
their  husbands,  on  her  two  square  miles,  surrounded 
by  the  whites  in  every  direction.  Thus  situated, 
she  and  her  children  grew  as  discontented  and  un- 
easy as  Alexander  Selkirk  was  on  the  Island  of  Juan 

They  determined  to  leave  their  solitary  and  isolated 
abode  among  the  whites,  and  again  join  their  tribe, 
mix  in  the  society,  and  partake  of  the  joys  and  the 
sorrows  of  their  kindred  and  friends.  With  this  in 
view,  Mrs.  Jemison  sold  her  annuity  of  three  hundred 
dollars  per  annum,  or  rather,  received  of  the  obligors 
a  commutation  therefor,  in  ready  money.  She  like- 
wise sold  her  remaining  two  square  miles  of  land, 
including  her  "flats,"  to  Messrs.  Henry  B.  Gibson 
and  Jellis  Clute.  In  the  summer  of  1831  she  re- 
moved to  Buffalo  Creek  reservation,  where  she 
purchased  the  Indian  possessory  right  to  a  good 
farm  on  the  Buffalo  Flats,  on  which  she  resided 
in  a  state  of  peace  and  quietude,  until  the  time 
of  her  decease. 

Mrs.  Jemison's  good  traits  of  character  were  not 
wholly  of  the  negative  kind;  she  exhibited  a  rare 
example  of  unostentatious  charity  and  true  benevo- 
lence.150 She  appeared  to  take  pleasure  and  self- 
satisfaction  in  relieving  the  distress,  and  supplying 
the  wants  of  her  fellow-creatures,  whether  white  or 
red;  anything  she  possessed,  however  much  labor  it 
might  have  cost  her,  was  freely  given,  when  she 
thought  the  necessities  of  others  required  it.  It 
would  redound  much  to  the  honor  of  the  Christian 
religion,  if  some  of  its  members  would  pattern,  in 
some  measures,  after  the  pagan  woman,  in  practicing 


this  most  exalted  of  Christian  virtues,  charity,  in 
feelings  as  well  as  in  actions. 

The  bodily  infirmities  of  old  age  gradually  increased 
in  Mrs.  Jemison,  and  enervated  her  frame;  yet  she  re- 
tained her  reason  and  mental  faculties  to  an  uncom- 
mon extent,  for  a  person  of  her  age;  and  her  society 
was  not  only  endurable,  but  rendered  highly  interest- 
ing and  desirable,  by  her  natural  exuberant  flow  of 
animal  spirits  and  good  nature.  In  the  summer  of 
1833,  she,  in  a  peaceable  and  friendly  manner, 
seceded  from  the  pagan  party  of  her  nation,  and  joined 
the  Christian  party,  having  in  her  own  view,  and  to 
the  satisfaction  of  her  spiritual  instructor,  the  Rev. 
Asher  Wright,  missionary  at  that  station,  repudiated 
paganism,  and  embraced  the  Christian  religion.  In 
the  autumn  succeeding  she  was  attacked  by  disease 
for  almost  the  first  time  in  her  protracted  pilgrimage, 
and  dropped  away  suddenly  from  the  scenes  of  this 
life,  on  the  I9th  day  of  September,  1833,  at  her  own 
dwelling  on  the  Buffalo  Creek  reservation,  aged  about 
ninety-one  years.  Her  funeral  was  conducted  after 
the  manner,  and  with  the  usual  ceremonies  practised 
at  Christian  burials;  and  was  attended  by  a  large 
concourse  of  people.  A  marble  slab  now  marks  the 
spot  where  her  earthly  remains  rest,  in  the  graveyard 
near  the  Seneca  Mission  church,  with  the  following 

196  LIFE  OF 


Memory  of 

Daughter  of 

Born  on  the  ocean,  between  Ireland  and  Phila.,  in  1742  or  3.  Taken 
captive  at  Marsh  Creek,  Pa.  in  1755  carried  down  the  Ohio,  Adopted 
into  an  Indian  family.  In  1759  removed  to  Genesee  River.  Was 

naturalized  in  1817. 

Removed  to  this  place  in  1831. 

And  having  survived  two  husbands  and  five  children,  leaving  three 

still  alive; 

She  Died  Sept  iQth  1833  aged  about  ninety-one  years, 
Having  a  few  weeks  before  expressed  a  hope  of  pardon  through 

"The  counsel  of  the  Lord  that  shall  stand." 

Mrs.  Jemison's  three  children,  Betsey,  Nancy,  and 
Polly,  who  survived  her,  all  lived  respected,  and  died 
regretted,  at  their  several  places  of  residence  on  the 
Seneca  reservations,  in  the  short  space  of  three  months, 
in  the  autumn  of  1839,  aged,  respectively,  sixty-nine, 
sixty-three,  and  fifty-eight  years,  leaving  a  large 
number  of  children  and  grandchildren  to  lament  their 

Jacob  Jemison,  the  grandson  of  Mrs.  Jemison,  men- 
tioned by  her  in  Chapter  X,  as  having  received  a 
liberal  education,  and  having  commenced  the  study 
of  medicine,  passed  through  a  regular  course  of 
medical  studies,  with  great  success,  and  was  ap- 
pointed an  assistant  surgeon  in  the  United  States 
Navy;  in  which  capacity  he  sustained  an  excellent 
moral,  social,  and  professional  character,  which  re- 
quires no  stronger  confirmation  than  the  laconic 


eulogium  pronounced  by  Capt.  E.,  the  commander  of 
the  vessel  on  board  of  which  he  performed  duty. 
Capt.  E.,  being  asked  by  a  gentleman  who  had 
known  Jemison  when  a  boy,  how  he  sustained  the 
character  of  his  situation,  promptly  replied:  "There 
is  no  person  on  board  the  ship  so  generally  esteemed 
as  Mr.  Jemison,  nor  a  better  surgeon  in  the 
navy."  Dr.  Jemison  died  five  or  six  years  ago  on 
board  his  ship  in  the  Mediterranean  squadron,  when 
about  forty  years  of  age. 

Several  of  the  grandchildren  of  Mrs.  Jemison,  now 
living,  are  highly  respected  in  their  nation;  while 
their  talents  and  moral  standing  are  duly  appre- 
ciated, and  their  civilities  reciprocated  among  the 
whites.  They  have  acquired  the  use  of  the  English 
language  sufficiently  to  speak  it  fluently,  and  have 
adopted  the  dress,  habits,  and  manners  of  civilized 
society.  Her  grandchildren  and  great-grandchildren 
are  numerous:  they  reside  on  the  remaining  Seneca 
reservations  in  this  state  at  present,  but  will,  un- 
doubtedly, ere  long,  take  their  departure  from  the 
land  of  their  fathers,  and  assume  important  positions 
in  legislative  and  judicial  stations  in  the  new  Indian 
territory  west  of  the  Mississippi.152 


198  LIFE  OF 


Mary  Jemison's  Indian  name. — Loss  of  all  her  property. — 
James  and  David  Shongo. — Buffalo  Tom,  the  present  head 
of  the  Jemison  family. — His  household  and  how  they  live. 

NARRATIVES  of  the  experiences  of  men  and  women 
whom  shipwreck,  or  the  hazards  of  war,  have  thrown 
upon  the  mercy  of  savage  tribes,  are  invested  with  a 
peculiar  and  painful  charm  for  every  class  of  readers. 
In  all  the  range  of  this  department  of  literature  there 
is  no  story  more  full  of  pathos  and  tragic  interest 
than  that  of  Mary  Jemison,  as  related  in  her  own 
artless  words. 

In  the  hope  of  adding  some  few  particulars  to  the 
somewhat  meagre  sketch  contributed  by  the  late  Mr. 
Mix  (pages  193-197)  concerning  the  later  history  of 
the  captive,  the  writer,  in  the  month  of  November, 
1873,  visited  the  Cattaraugus  Reservation  and  con- 
sulted some  of  her  descendants,  as  well  as  the  venerable 
and  esteemed  missionaries,  Rev.  Asher  Wright  and 
his  wife.  The  results  of  the  inquiries  made  at  that 
time  are  embodied  in  the  present  chapter. 

The  orthography  of  the  name  conferred  upon  the 
captive  by  two  gentle  Indian  women  who  adopted 
her  as  their  sister  is  incorrectly  given  in  the  body  of 
this  work,  and  the  signification  is  erroneously  rendered. 


The  name  should  be  written  Deh-ge-wa-nus,  and 
means  literally  The-Two-Falling-Voices.  The  In- 
dians, in  pronouncing  the  name  make  a  circular  or 
undulating  sweep  of  the  hand  downwards  to  emphasize 
the  idea  of  a  prolonged  or  dying  cadence.  The  sim- 
ple-minded and  affectionate  beings,  who  bestowed  this 
name,  evidently  meant  to  keep  alive  the  fact  that  the 
little  pale-faced  stranger,  whom  they  had  taken  to 
their  hearts  in  place  of  a  brother  fallen  on  the  war- 
path, had  brushed  away  their  tears  with  her  tiny 
hands,  and  lulled  the  voice  of  their  sorrow.  A  refer- 
ence to  the  ceremony  observed  on  her  being  adopted 
as  a  Seneca  child  will  show  the  peculiar  appositeness 
of  the  name. 

Immediately  after  migrating  to  Buffalo,  Mrs. 
Jemison  purchased  the  cabin  and  a  small  piece  of 
ground  which  were  the  possession  or  property  of  an 
Indian  known  as  Little  Johnson,  situated  a  short  dis- 
tance south  of  the  old  Seneca  burial-ground.  Her 
household  consisted  of  herself,  her  daughter  Polly, 
and  son-in-law,  George  Shongo,  and  five  little  grand- 
children, three  of  whom  were  boys  and  two  were  girls. 

She  brought  with  her  the  proceeds  of  the  sale  of 
her  Genesee  River  lands — a  sum  not  more  than  suffi- 
cient, with  prudent  management,  to  render  her  last 
days  comfortable,  and  to  make  a  reasonable  provision 
for  her  grandchildren,  of  whom  she  was  very  fond.  It 
must  be  added  with  regret — although  the  circum- 
stance harmonizes  with  the  mournful  tenor  of  her 
whole  life — that  this  little  fortune  was  soon  after 
her  removal  to  Buffalo  lost  through  an  unfortunate 
speculation  on  the  part  of  a  white  man  to  whose  cus- 
tody she  had  confided  it. 

Mary  Jemison  was  a  rich  landed  proprietress  on  the 

200  LIFE  OF 

Genesee,  and  it  must  have  been  a  hard  blow,  the  dis- 
covery that  her  few  remaining  days  were  to  be  spent 
in  poverty  and  dependence.  It  is  known,  however, 
that  her  simple  wants  were  supplied  by  her  daughter 
and  son-in-law,  who  were  not  wanting  in  filial  love 
and  attention  to  this  aged  and  sorrow-stricken  woman. 

Mrs.  Wright  kindly  consented  to  put  on  paper  an 
account  of  the  last  hours  of  the  captive.  It  will  be 
found  in  the  next  chapter,  and  forms  an  important 
sequel  to  Mr.  Seaver's  work.  It  is  believed  that  there 
are  few  hearts  so  hardened  as  to  be  unmoved  by  the 
matchless  pathos  of  Mrs.  Wright's  narrative. 

George  and  Polly  Shongo  died  many  years  ago,  and 
but  two  of  their  children  now  survive.  The  older  of 
these,  David  Shongo,  is  an  inmate  or  a  frequent  visitor 
at  the  Mission  House,  where  the  writer  saw  him 
at  the  period  of  his  visit.  From  infancy  he  was  char- 
acterized by  feebleness  of  intellect,  and  is,  in  truth,  a 
simple-minded,  affectionate  creature,  and  a  great 
favorite  at  the  Mission. 

With  his  long,  romantic  locks  of  coal-black  hair, 
his  clear  olive  complexion,  his  large,  melancholy  eyes 
gazing  at  you  from  under  the  shadow  of  a  slouched 
and  plumed  hat;  his  apparel  clean  yet  thriftily  patched, 
and  betraying  the  wearer's  love  of  finery  by  skill- 
fully disposed  brooches  and  ribbons,  he  looked  more 
like  the  mild  type  of  a  gipsy  poacher,  or  a  Spanish 
contrabandero,  of  gentle  and  humane  instincts,  than 
a  descendant  of  the  ruthless  and  red-handed  Hiokatoo. 

He  speaks  English  brokenly,  but  in  soft  and  musical 
tones:  "Genesee  Valley, — beautiful  country, — far, 
far  off,"  indicating  with  a  sweep  of  the  arm  its  direc- 
tion, "When  we  broke  up  and  came  away,  grand- 
mother sent  me  to  gather  the  herds.  I  found  most  of 


them,  but  some  had  wandered  away  into  the  woods, 
and  they  no  hear  my  call.  They — there — now  in 
the  woods.  Often,  often  I  listen  in  the  night,  when 
it  is  still,  and  I  hear  them  calling  after  me,  'Moo! 
moo!  moo!"3 

James  Shongo,  the  youngest  of  the  five  children, 
resides  with  his  family  on  the  Allegany  Reservation. 
He  practises  the  healing  art  according  to  the  primitive 
formulas  of  the  Indians,  and  enjoys  a  considerable 
white  as  well  as  Indian  patronage.  James  was  his 
grandmother's  favorite  among  Polly's  children,  and 
his  memory  preserves  a  vivid  impression  of  his  child- 
hood days.  Though  without  the  simplest  rudiments 
of  an  English  education,  he  is  an  intelligent  and 
thoughtful  man,  and  enjoys  the  confidence  and  respect 
of  his  neighbors,  white  and  red,  to  an  enviable  degree. 

Thomas  Jemison,155  or  "Buffalo  Tom"  as  he  is  fa- 
miliarly called,  is  another  grandson  of  the  White 
Woman,  though  of  different  parentage,  residing  on  the 
Cattaraugus  Reservation.  His  father  was  the  cap- 
tive's ill-starred  son  Thomas,  his  mother  is  believed 
to  have  been  one  of  the  numerous  progeny  of  that 
desperate  outlaw,  "Indian  Allen."  She  inherited, 
however,  none  of  her  father's  evil  traits,  but  was  a 
remarkably  industrious  and  exemplary  woman.  De- 
serted with  her  infant  children,  by  a  profligate  and 
faithless  husband,  she  reared  her  little  family  by  her 
unaided  exertions,  and  inculcated  in  their  young 
minds  the  principles  of  virtue,  morality,  and  thrift. 
More  than  this  she  could  not  do,  for  in  those  primitive 
days  the  missionaries  had  rarely  penetrated  to  the 
banks  of  the  Genesee,  and  save  a  dim  and  wondering 
memory  of  some  of  the  strange  words  which  the 

saintly  Kirkland  had  spoken  to  them  on  his  brief 

202  LIFE  OF 

visit  to  the  Senecas,  the  light  of  the  Gospel  had  not 
dawned  upon  this  hapless  people. 

Thomas  was  born  sometime  between  Christmas  and 
New  Year — 1794,  I795> — at  or  near  the  Indian  vil- 
lage of  Squakie  Hill,  opposite  the  site  of  the  present 
village  of  Mount  Morris.  He  remembers  the  old  peo- 
ple saying  that  he  was  two  years  old  when  the  great 
council  was  held  at  Geneseo,  or  Big  Tree,  in  1797. 
He  distinctly  recalls  the  announcement,  borne  by 
fleet-footed  runners  to  the  scattered  Indian  villages, 
that  Little  Beard,  the  barbarous  and  bloody  war-chief, 
was  dead,  and  recollects  seeing  the  excited  Indians 
firing  off  volleys  in  the  direction  of  the  great  eclipse  of 
the  sun  which  followed  that  event,  and  which  was 
attributed  by  the  superstitious  natives  to  the  malign 
agency  of  Little  Beard,  who,  it  was  hoped,  would  take 
alarm  at  the  firing  and  desist  from  his  fell  purpose. 

Tfiomas  proved  an  affectionate  and  dutiful  son,  and, 
in  strange  contrast  with  the  sloth  and  haughty  con- 
tempt of  labor  which  early  characterize  the  young 
warrior,  he  delighted  to  aid  his  mother  in  her  unremit- 
ting toil  and  rude  husbandry. 

-Though  physically  powerful  and  constitutionally 
brave,  he  had  no  ambition  to  achieve  distinction  as  a 
warrior,  and  he  early  lost  all  relish  for  the  games  and 
pagan  dances  in  which  ordinarily  the  soul  of  the 
young  Seneca  revelled. 

In  1828  the  last  of  the  Senecas  turned  their  backs 
upon  their  beautiful  valley  and  sought  the  more 
western  reserves  of  their  people.  Thomas  in  the 
mean  time  had  married,  and  was  the  owner  of  a  com- 
fortable dwelling  house,  teams  of  horses  and  herds  of 
kine,  and  broad  acres,  which  he  had  rendered  exceed- 
ingly fruitful  by  his  toil  and  skill.166  These  he  was 


forced  to  abandon,  for  the  chiefs  sitting  in  solemn  con- 
clave with  the  hungry  palefaces  had  ceded  all  away. 
He  came  to  the  Buffalo  Creek  Reservation  in  the 
year  1828,  and  built  a  large  and  commodious  house, 
which  is  still  standing  on  the  Buffalo  and  Aurora 
Plant  Road,  about  three  miles  from  the  present  City 
Hall  in  Buffalo.  The  tide  of  emigration,  which  had 
then  commenced  to  flow  westward,  rolled  by  the 
house  of  Thomas,  it  being  situated  on  the  most  fre- 
quented highway  leading  from  the  postal  town  of 
Buffalo  in  the  direction  of  Ohio.  Thomas'  large, 
capacious  house,  with  its  comfortable  surroundings, 
was  a  vision  of  beauty  to  the  wayworn  pilgrims 
passing  by  and  on  whom  it  beamed  a  smile  of  wel- 
come. In  short,  the  rites  of  hospitality  were  practised 
by  Mr.  Jemison  to  such  an  extent  as  to  threaten  him 
with  financial  ruin.  He  was  at  length  prevailed  upon 
to  take  a  moderate  compensation  for  the  food  and 
shelter  which  his  heart  had  so  long  prompted  him  to 
bestow  as  a  gratuity.  Thenceforth,  in  addition  to 
being  a  successful  farmer,  he  became  a  publican  as 
well,  and  thrived  apace  in  this  double  capacity. 

When  the  Indians,  by  means  of  arts  which  history 
has  already  stamped  as  infamous,  were  betrayed  into 
ceding  away  the  Buffalo  Creek  Reservation,  Thomas 
migrated  with  his  people  to  the  banks  of  the  Catta- 
raugus,  where  he  has  ever  since  resided,  and  where 
that  rare  good  fortune,  born  of  integrity  and  industry, 
has  ever  since  attended  him. 

It  is  not  known  how  many  descendants  of  the  White 
Woman  are  now  living,  but  they  are  sufficiently  nu- 
merous to  form  a  distinct  clan  of  themselves.  The 
name  Jemison  is  at  once  the  most  common  and  the 
most  honorable  patronymic  among  the  modern  Sene- 

204  LIFE  OF 

cas,  and  of  this  numerous  family  the  oldest,  and  by 
tacit  consent  the  chief,  is  Thomas  Jemison,  or  Buffalo 
Tom.  When  it  is  remembered  that  he  was  born  in  a 
bark  wigwam  and  reared  amid  pagan  darkness,  at  a 
time  when  his  nation,  wasted  and  broken  by  a  deso- 
lating war,  was  fast  falling  into  decay,  that  it  was 
his  fate  to  live  in  that  transition  period  in  the  history 
of  the  Iroquois  which  witnessed  the  exchange  of  the 
old  barbaric  virtues  for  the  deadily  vices  which  afflict 
civilized  communities,  his  career  must  assuredly  be 
regarded  as  an  exceedingly  creditable  if  not  remark- 
able one.  Jemison  was  wise  enough  to  seize  upon  the 
prizes  which  civilization  proffered,  and  to  firmly  resist 
the  allurements  of  its  vices.  He  never  drank,  never 
gambled,  and  was  never  under  the  dominion  of  any 
degrading  habit.  His  reputation  for  truth  and  in- 
tegrity was  never  assailed,  and  his  example  of  patient 
but  enlightened  industry,  and  fore-handed  thrift,  has 
been  of  incalculable  benefit  to  his  people.  In  fact,  it 
would  seem  that  the  virtues  which  adorned  the  char- 
acter of  the  grandmother,  after  lying  dormant  for  one 
generation,  had  blossomed  into  rarer  beauty  in  the 

Mr.  Jemison  resides  about  half  a  mile  distant 
from  the  Cattaraugus  Mission  House,  in  a  two-story 
frame  dwelling,  which  differs  little  from  the  ordinary 
abode  of  well-to-do  farmers  in  the  New  England  or 
Middle  States.  The  house  stands  a  few  rods  back 
from  the  highway,  and  the  intervening  space  is  filled 
with  shrubbery,  and  protected  from  the  street  by  a 
neat  picket  fence.  The  house  is  flanked  on  one  side 
by  a  building  constructed  of  hewn  logs,  with  a  roof 
which,  in  the  fashion  of  the  old  class  of  Indian  dwell- 
ings, projects  four  or  five  feet  from  the  main  front  wall, 


so  as  to  perform  the  office  of  a  porch.  The  former 
proprietor  of  this  ancient  building  was  a  white 
captive  known  as  Hank  Johnson,  who  with  his  Dela- 
ware wife,  inhabited  it  many  years,  and  is  renowned 
in  local  traditions  for  his  valor  as  a  warrior  and  his 
many  chivalrous  virtues.  To  the  right  of  this  vener- 
able edifice,  which  is  now  used  as  a  granary,  is  a 
neat  carriage  house  with  open  wings  for  the  shelter 
of  teams  and  wagons.  In  the  rear  of  the  house  is 
an  enormous  shed,  where,  sawed  and  split  and  neatly 
piled,  is  a  twelve-months'  supply  of  fuel;  and  beyond, 
surrounded  by  well-fenced  fields,  and  an  extensive 
orchard,  are  barns  which  overflow  with  plenty.157 

It  is  the  home  of  thrift  and  competence,  and  wears 
a  marvellously  snug  and  contented  look — no  weather- 
worn clapboards;  no  doors  or  windows  or  gates  be- 
reft of  hinges  and  creaking  out  a  dismal  protest  against 
neglect;  no  plows,  or  other  implements,  unhoused 
and  rusting;  no  gaping  fences  to  tempt  four-footed 
marauders;  no  gaunt,  unruly  kine,  or  lean,  unkempt 
horses — everything  speaks  of  a  vigilant,  provident, 
and  prosperous  farmer. 

The  interior  of  Mr.  Jemison's  house  does  not  belie 
the  promise  of  its  exterior.  A  stranger  invoking  its 
hospitality,  and  ignorant  of  the  race  to  which  its  oc- 
cupants belong,  will  naturally  stare  with  wonder,  as, 
in  obedience  to  his  call,  a  modest  and  neatly  dressed 
Indian  maiden  opens  the  door  and  invites  him  to 
enter.  He  will  be  shown  into  a  handsomely  furnished 
parlor  with  carpets,  and  chairs,  sofa  and  centre  table, 
and  whose  walls  are  adorned  with  prints  framed  in 
gilt  and  walnut.  When  invited  to  partake  of  their 
fare  he  will  be  ushered  into  a  spacious  dining-room, 
in  the  centre  of  which  is  a  table  spread  with  snowy 

206  LIFE  OF 

damask  and  groaning  under  a  profusion  of  well-cooked 
and  substantial  viands.  Everything  is  scrupulously 
clean  and  an  air  of  Quaker-like  tidiness  pervades  the 
apartment.  A  large  family  of  handsome  Indian  men 
and  youths  and  maidens — for  Buffalo  Tom  is  a  true 
patriarch — sit  down  with  him  at  this  hospitable  board, 
presided  over  by  the  master  himself,  a  tall,  vigorous 
old  man,  with  shrewd  yet  kindly  eyes  peering  at  you 
beneath  shaggy  eyebrows  whose  raven  hue  contrasts 
strangely  with  the  silvery  whiteness  of  his  ample  locks. 

An  Indian  girl  stands  behind  her  mistress,  and 
serves  the  table  with  a  quiet  facility  and  uncon- 
scious grace  that  are  beyond  praise. 

Should  our  imaginary  guest  sleep  under  this  friendly 
roof  he  will  find  a  well-furnished  chamber  and  a  lux- 
urious couch  inviting  to  repose. 

Should  he  engage  the  different  members  of  this  in- 
teresting family  in  conversation,  he  will  discover  true 
feminine  refinement  and  delicacy  of  thought  and  feel- 
ing shining  through  the  maidenly  reserve  of  the  fe- 
males; he  will  mentally  note  that  the  young  men  can 
converse  in  English  as  intelligently  as  the  majority  of 
white  youths  who  have  had  the  advantage  of  training 
in  the  grammar  schools,  and  he  will  be  quick  to  dis- 
cover, lurking  through  the  imperfect  English  of  Buf- 
falo Tom,  an  honest  candor,  a  quickness  of  apprehen- 
sion, a  robust  good  sense,  and,  moreover,  a  keenness  of 
wit  which  ever  and  anon  flashes  through  and  lightens 
the  conversation. 

Mrs.  Jemison  is  a  full-blooded  Seneca,  and  is  a 
granddaughter  of  a  once  famous  chieftain,  known  to 
the  whites  by  the  unromantic  name  of  Sharp  Shins, 
who  flourished  at  the  period  of  the  Revolutionary 
War.  She  rarely  attempts  to  speak  in  the  English 


tongue,  and  out  of  regard  to  this  good  mother  the 
Seneca  is  the  language  of  her  household. 

It  is  gratifying  to  see  so  much  happiness,  and  such  a 
degree  of  material  prosperity  attained  by  one  who, 
many  years  ago,  was  born  a  wild  man  in  a  rude  hut 
on  the  banks  of  the  Genesee. 

Considering  the  appalling  difficulties  which  ham- 
pered the  young  barbarian  in  competing  with  white 
men,  heirs  of  a  thousand  years  of  progress,  we  cannot  £ 

but  marvel  at  his  triumph,  nor  refuse  to  pay  our  hom- 
age to  a  character  so  innately  pure  and  sweet,  and  yet 
so  strong. 

Mr.  Jemison,  although  a  reverent  man,  does  not 
believe  that  the  Christian  religion,  or  its  hand- 
maid, education,  is  the  sole  panacea  for  the  ills  which 
afflict  his  people.  With  so  many  glaring  examples 
around  him  of  educated  and  Christianized  Indians 
relapsing  into  profligacy  and  barbarism,  he  can  see 
no  safety  for  the  young,  no  sure  guarantee  of  a  life  of 
comparative  innocency  and  happiness,  save  in  habits 
of  dogged  industry.  To  such  a  degree  is  his  mind 
dominated  by  this  idea,  that  he  loses  no  opportunity 
of  enforcing  his  favorite  apothegm  that  industry  is 
the  mother  of  morality  and  happiness.  No  man  could 
be  less  tolerant  of  idleness  and  improvidence  than  he. 

"Handsome  Lake,"  the  great  modern  prophet  of 
the  Iroquois,  to  whose  preaching  Jemison  listened  in 
his  youth,  was  the  Indian  Mahomet  who  sought  to 
reconcile  the  precepts  of  holy  living  which  Christ 
taught  with  the  old  Indian  superstition  of  a  separate 
creation  and  a  distinct  ultimate  destiny.  Jemison's 
religion  is  the  gospel  of  LABOR,  of  which,  at  the  sacrifice 
of  much  of  his  popularity  among  the  slothful  red  men,  he 
has  been  the  great  apostle  for  more  than  half  a  century. 

208  LIFE  OF 


The  last  hours  of  the  captive. — Mary  Jemison  desires  to  see 
the  missionaries. — Interview  with  Mrs.  Wright. — A 
mother's  dying  injunction  asserts  its  influence. — The 
captive's  anguish  at  forgetting  her  mother's  prayer. — 
Dawn  upon  a  troubled  soul. — Personal  appearance  of 
Mary  Jemison. — Her  character. 

SOON  after  I  came  to  the  Seneca  Mission  on  the 
Buffalo  Creek  Reservation,  in  1833,  I  was  informed 
that  Mary  Jemison  had  removed  from  her  home  on  the 
Genesee  Reservation  and  was  living  near  the  Mission 
station.  As  I  had  often  heard  of  her  history,  I  felt  a 
desire  to  see  her,  and  was  planning  to  pay  her  a  visit, 
when  our  interpreter  called  one  day  and  told  us  he 
had  recently  seen  her  and  that  she  was  anxious  to  see 
some  of  the  missionaries.  I  had  been  told  that  she 
had  never  been  interested  in  any  efforts  made  to  give 
her  religious  instruction,  and  that  in  fact  she  was  as 
strong  a  pagan  as  any  of  the  Indians,  and  was  strongly 
prejudiced  against  the  Christian  religion.  I  went  to 
see  her  the  next  day,  in  company  with  a  young  girl 
who  could  interpret  for  me  if  necessary.  I  found  her 
in  a  poor  hut,  where  she  lived  with  her  daughter. 
There  was  a  low  bunk  in  one  corner  of  the  room,  on 
which  she  lay.  It  was  made  by  laying  a  few  boards 
on  some  logs.  A  little  straw  was  on  the  boards,  over 


Mis.  Jemison's  second  husband,  as  he  appeared  when  at-  |^J_ 
tired  in  his  war  dress.  He  died  at  Gardow  Flats  in  **jjj;; 
181 1,  at  the  advanced  age  of  103  years.  i^k^- 




which  a  blanket  was  spread.  She  was  curled  up  on 
the  bed,  her  head  drawn  forward,  sound  asleep,  and 
as  she  lay,  did  not  look  much  larger  than  a  child 
ten  years  old.  My  interpreter  told  her  daughter  what 
had  brought  us  to  her  house.  She  said  her  mother 
did  want  to  see  us  very  much,  and  she  was  glad  we 
had  come.  She  then  went  to  the  bunk  and  tried  to 
awaken  her  mother,  but  she  slept  so  soundly  I  feared 
she  would  not  succeed.  After  calling  her  repeatedly 
she  shook  her  with  considerable  force  and  partly  raised 
her  up  in  her  bed,  and  told  her  some  strangers  wished 
to  see  her.  After  she  was  roused  so  as  to  recognize 
us  I  went  forward  and  shook  hands  with  her  and  told 
her  who  I  was  and  why  I  had  come.  As  soon  as  she 
understood  the  object  of  my  visit  she  said,  with  much 
emotion:  "I  am  glad  to  see  you.  A  few  nights  ago 
I  was  lying  on  my  bed  here,  and  I  could  not  sleep.  I 
was  thinking  over  my  past  life  and  all  that  had  be- 
fallen me:  how  I  had  been  taken  away  from  my 
home,  and  how  all  my  relations  had  been  killed,  and 
of  my  poor  mother  and  her  last  words  to  me."  As 
she  went  on  her  emotion  increased,  and  sobs  and 
tears  almost  made  her  voice  inaudible.  "It  was  the 
second  night  after  we  were  taken  by  the  Indians.  We 
were  in  the  woods.  We  were  very  tired  and  faint  with 
hunger.  My  little  brothers  and  sisters  were  asleep 
on  the  ground.  My  mother  drew  me  to  her  side,  and, 
putting  her  arm  around  me,  she  said:  'My  child,  you 
are  old  enough  to  understand  what  a  dreadful  calamity 
has  come  upon  us.  We  may  be  separated  to-night, 
and  God  only  knows  whether  we  shall  ever  see  each 
other  again.  Perhaps  we  may  be  killed  and  you  may 
be  spared.  I  want  you  to  remember  what  we  have 
taught  you,  and,  above  all,  never  forget  the  prayer 

2io  LIFE  OF 

which  you  have  always  repeated  with  your  little 
brothers  and  sisters.  I  want  you  to  say  it  every  day 
as  long  as  you  live.  I  want  you  to  promise  me  you 
will  not  forget.'  I  promised  my  mother  that  I  would 
do  what  she  said,  and  then  an  Indian  came  to  us  and 
led  me  away  into  the  woods.  My  mother  called  after 
me  and  said:  'Be  a  good  girl,  Mary,  and  God  will 
take  care  of  you/  I  lay  down  on  the  ground  and 
cried  myself  to  sleep.  Those  were  the  last  words  my 
mother  ever  spoke  to  me,  and  I  never  saw  her  face 
again.  I  never  forgot  what  she  said,  and  the  promise 
I  made.  For  a  good  many  years  I  remembered  the 
prayer,  and  no  matter  where  I  was  or  how  tired  I  was 
I  always  repeated  it  every  night.  But  as  my  cares 
increased  and  I  had  to  spend  so  much  time  working 
hard  to  take  care  of  my  children  and  family,  at  last  I 
forgot  some  of  the  words,  and  was  not  sure  that  I  said 
any  of  it  right,  and  gradually  I  left  it  off,  and  at  last 
I  forgot  it  all,  and  the  other  night  I  began  to  think 
about  it,  and  I  thought  I  had  done  very  wrong  to 
break  my  promise  to  my  mother,  and  now  I  do  not 
know  how  to  pray."  I  think  her  idea  was  that  there 
was  only  that  one  prayer  which  would  be  acceptable 
to  God,  and  as  she  had  forgotten  that,  there  was  no 
hope  that  she  could  pray  aright.  "The  more  I  thought 
about  it,  the  worse  I  felt,  and  I  began  to  cry  aloud, 
and  I  said  a  great  many  times,  'O  God,  have  mercy 
on  me.'  My  daughter  told  me  to  stop  crying  and  go 
to  sleep,  but  I  could  not,  because  I  felt  so  badly.  I 
think  my  daughter  thought  I  was  crazy.  She  did  not 
know  what  I  felt  bad  about.  The  next  day  I  sent 
word  to  the  missionaries  that  I  wanted  to  see  them, 
for  I  thought  they  could  tell  me  what  I  ought  to  say 
when  I  pray,  for  I  don't  know  what  I  ought  to  say, 


since  I  have  forgotten  the  prayer  my  mother  taught 
me."  While  she  talked,  the  tears  streamed  down  her 
wrinkled  cheeks,  as  she  sat  on  the  side  of  her  low 
bed,  almost  bent  double.  I  told  her  she  could  not 
have  said  anything  more  appropriate  than  "God,  be 
merciful  to  me."  I  told  her  of  the  infinite  love  of 
God  to  us,  and  that  He  always  hears  the  cry  of  those 
who  look  to  Him  in  trouble — that  He  knew  all  her  past 
life,  and  that  He  pitied  her  and  would  surely  hear  her 
prayer.  I  then  repeated  the  Lord's  prayer  in  Eng- 
lish. She  listened,  with  an  expression  both  solemn 
and  tender,  till  near  the  close,  when  suddenly  it  was 
evident  a  chord  had  been  touched  which  vibrated 
into  the  far  distant  past,  and  awakened  memories  both 
sweet  and  painful.  She  immediately  became  almost 
convulsed  with  weeping,  and  it  was  some  time  before 
she  could  speak.  At  length  she  said:  "That  is  the 
prayer  my  mother  taught  me  and  which  I  have  forgot- 
ten so  many  years."  When  she  had  regained  her  com- 
posure, I  read  some  passages  of  Scripture  to  her  and 
tried  to  explain  the  gospel  plan  of  salvation,  and  com- 
mending her  to  the  care  of  Him  who  never  breaks  the 
bruised  reed,  I  bade  her  good-bye,  little  thinking  it 
would  be  my  last  interview  with  this  interesting 

I  thought  it  a  remarkable  instance — the  permanent 
influence  of  a  mother's  teaching.  Full  three-quarters 
of  a  century  had  passed  since  she  made  the  promise  to 
her  mother,  which  it  was  not  strange  she  had  not  kept, 
the  memory  of  which  was  the  means  of  rousing  her 
to  enquire  as  to  how  she  could  approach  God  and 
find  peace.  For,  doubtless,  this  was  what  her  poor, 
long  benighted  mind  craved:  as  does  that  of  every 
other  human  being,  in  this  fallen  world.  From  what 

212  LIFE  OF 

we  learned  of  her  subsequent  state  of  mind,  from  her 
daughter  and  others,  there  is  good  reason  to  believe 
that  she  died  in  the  cheering  faith  of  the  gospel,  and 
not  in  the  darkness  of  paganism,  by  which  she  had 
been  for  so  many  years  surrounded. 

Mary  Jemison  must  have  been  small  in  stature;  she 
had  a  very  white  skin,  yellow  or  golden  hair  and  blue 
eyes.  Her  face  was  somewhat  bronzed  by  long  ex- 
posure; but  I  noticed  that  at  the  back  of  her  neck  her 
hair  was  a  bright  color  and  curly,  and  her  skin  very 
white.  Her  hands  and  feet  were  small,  her  features 
were  regular  and  pleasing  in  expression. 

From  all  that  I  have  learned  of  her  from  those  who 
were  for  years  contemporary  with  her,  she  possessed 
great  fortitude  and  self-control;  was  cautious  and 
prudent  in  all  her  conduct;  had  a  kind,  tender  heart; 
was  hospitable  and  generous  and  faithful  in  all  her 
duties  as  a  wife  and  mother.  She  must  have  possessed 
an  excellent  constitution,  as  she  endured  unexampled 
hardships  and  yet  lived  to  the  advanced  age  of  ninety- 

My  visit  evidently  excited  and  wearied  her,  and 
she  seemed  quite  exhausted  and  toward  the  last  quite 
sleepy;  which  warned  me  that  I  ought  to  bring  it  to 
a  close.169 




Additional  particulars  relating  to  Mary  Jemison's  parentage. 
— Site  of  old  homestead  in  Adams  County,  Pa. — Robert 
Buck's  grave. — Description  of  "White  Woman's"  per- 
sonal appearance. — Dr.  Munson's  and  Henry  O'Reilly's 
interviews  with  her. — Place  where  she  was  captured. 

IN  1875  the  editor  of  the  Gettysburg  Compiler  pub- 
lished an  article  in  his  paper  descriptive  of  the  troubles 
the  early  settlers  of  Adams  County,  Pa.,  experienced 
with  the  Indians.  The  following  extract  from  this 
newspaper  article  is  of  interest  in  connection  with  the 
life  of  Mary  Jemison. 

"About  a  year  ago  we  paid  a  visit  to  Buchanan 
Valley,  in  the  Soiith  Mountain,  this  county,  and 
called  upon,  among  others,  Robert  Bleakney  and  wife, 
an  aged  and  intelligent  couple,  whose  knowledge  of 
local  history  is  extensive  and  reliable.  From  them 
we  learned — as  they  have  the  facts  from  tradition 
through  generations  of  the  family  residing  on  the  same 
farm,  corroborated  by  records  in  an  old  family  Bible — 
that  about  1755,  the  Indians,  still  quite  numerous  on 
the  other  side  of  the  mountain,  became  troublesome 
and  threatened  incursions  among  the  whites.  The 
few  settlers  in  what  is  now  Buchanan  Valley  became 
alarmed  at  the  unfriendly  attitude  assumed  by  the 
redskins,  and  several  families  removed  from  the  moun- 
tain, among  them  the  Bleakneys,  who  went  to  '  Little 
Conowago/  and  remained  there  a  year  or  two.  A 

2i4  LIFE  OF 

family  by  the  name  of  Kilkennon,  living  where  Samuel 
McKenrick  now  does,  had  a  goodly  number  of  stout 
boys,  all  well  armed,  and  they  thought  they  would 
risk  staying  if  the  Indians  should  come.  But,  soon 
after,  the  aspect  of  affairs  became  so  alarming  that 
they  left,  and  intended  to  take  the  Jemisons,  who  oc- 
cupied the  tract  recently  sold  by  Joseph  I.  Livers  to 
Francis  Cole,  with  them,  and  went  in  that  direction. 
But,  hearing  much  firing  about  Jemison's,  they  started 
down  the  creek  to  a  blockhouse  erected  by  the  whites 
for  protection,  somewhere  near  where  Samuel  Hart- 
man  now  resides,  back  of  Arendtsville.  Of  the  Jemi- 
sons, the  father  and  mother,  with  a  daughter,  were 
carried  off  by  the  Indians;  William  Mann,  who 
worked  there,  was  shot  and  killed;  and  two  boys, 
both  small,  crept  into  a  hollow  log  and  escaped.  The 
daughter  was  seen  a  number  of  years  after  by  mis- 
sionaries. She  had  married  an  Indian  chief,  but  could 
give  no  account  of  her  parents,  as  they  fell  behind  in 
the  march  from  the  settlement  and  were  probably 
killed  by  their  captors.*' 

The  foregoing  is  quoted  in  a  longer  article  in  the 
Gettysburg  Compiler  of  December  4,  1879,  with  the 
following  comment: 

"Since  the  aoove  was  published,  Mrs.  Bleakney, 
refreshing  her  memory,  states  that  the  man  killed 
on  the  day  the  Jemison  family  was  abducted  was 
named  Buck,  not  Mann." 

This  correction  harmonizes  with  the  account  of  the 
tragedy  published  in  the  Pennsylvania  Gazette  of  April 
13,  1758,  which  says  that  Robert  Buck  was  the 

The  article  above  quoted  was  one  of  a  series  of  four 
by  the  Rev.  William  K.  Zieber  which  appeared  in  the 
Compiler  on  December  4,  u,  1 8  and  25,  1879,  under 
the  heading: 


Local  Indian  History. 

Buchanan  Valley,  Adams  Co.,  Pa. 

Abduction  and  Massacre  of  the  Jemison  Family  by 

the  Indians  in  1755. 

From  these  articles,  based  largely  on  a  copy  of  the 
first  edition  of  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  which 
had  come  into  Mr.  Zieber's  possession,  but  also  con- 
taining original  matter  concerning  local  landmarks, 
the  following  paragraphs  are  quoted: 

The  first  settlements  in  the  southwestern  portion 
of  the  territory  now  embraced  in  Adams  County 
were  made  by  Scotch-Irish.  About  the  year  1735,  a 
number  of  families  established  themselves  near  the 
sources  of  Marsh  Creek.  Others  soon  followed,  among 
whom,  in  the  year  1742  or  1743,  were  Thomas  Jemi- 
son and  his  wife,  Jane  Erwin,  the  parents  of  the 
'White  Woman/ 

"Thomas  Jemison  and  wife  were  of  honorable  and 
wealthy  Scotch-Irish  parentage.  Leaving  some  port 
of  Ireland  in  the  ship  William  and  Mary,  they  reached 
in  due  time  the  city  of  Philadelphia.  When  they 
left  the  evergreen  isle  they  had  but  three  children, 
two  sons  and  a  daughter.  During  the  voyage  another 
daughter  was  born  to  them,  whom  they  named  Mary, 
whose  birth  upon  the  stormy  sea  foreshadowed  the 
rough  and  sorrowful  experiences  she  was  subsequently 
called  to  endure. 

"Fond  of  rural  life,  having  been  bred  to  agricultural 
pursuits,  Thomas  Jemison  soon  left  Philadelphia  for 
what  were  then  the  frontiers  of  Pennsylvania,  and 
settled  upon  an  excellent  tract  of  land  lying  on  Marsh 
Creek.  Being  of  industrious  habits,  he  soon  cleared  a 
large  farm  and  reaped  the  fruit  of  his  labors.  For  a 
period  of  ten  or  eleven  years,  during  which  time  two 
or  more  sons  were  added  to  his  family,  this  hardy  pio- 
neer led  a  busy  and  contented  life  in  his  home  along 
the  foot  of  South  Mountain. 

216  LIFE  OF 

"In  the  autumn  of  the  year  1754  Thomas  Jemison 
moved  either  to  another  part  of  his  farm  or  to  another 
neighborhood,  a  short  distance  from  his  former  abode, 
into  what  is  now  known  as  Buchanan  Valley.  A 
good  house  and  a  log  barn  were  among  the  improve- 
ments he  found  on  the  new  farm.  Among  his  neigh- 
bors were  James  Bleakney,  who  survived  until  the 
spring  of  1821,  dying  in  the  98th  year  of  his  age. 
James  Bleakney  was  the  grandfather  of  Mrs.  Robert 
Bleakney,  visited  by  the  editor  of  the  Compiler,  and 
subsequently  by  the  writer.  It  was  from  this  vener- 
able ancestor  that  Mrs.  Bleakney  heard  of  the  misfor- 
tunes of  the  Jemison  family,  and  learned  where  their 
farm  was  located. 

"For  about  twenty  years  from  the  first  settlements 
made  on  and  along  Marsh  Creek,  and  in  the  secluded 
valley  enclosed  in  the  heart  of  the  South  Mountain, 
the  sturdy  settlers  were  allowed  to  sow  and  reap  in 
peace.  But  a  storm  was  brewing,  destined  to  burst 
upon  them,  and  for  awhile  to  drive  them  from  their 
happy  homes." 

After  giving  an  account  of  the  capture  of  the  Jemi- 
son family  by  the  Indians,  Mr.  Zieber  writes  thus  re- 
specting the  burial-place  of  Mr.  Buck  whose  name  he 
erroneously  gives  as  William  instead  of  Robert: 

"William  Buck,  the  murdered  man,  was  buried  by 
the  neighbors  not  far  from  the  spot  where  they  found 
his  body.  The  burial  was  a  hurried  one,  for  they  had 
other  pressing  work  on  hand.  Last  autumn,  whilst 
on  a  visit  to  Buchanan  Valley  in  company  with  the 
editor  of  the  Compiler,  the  grave  of  this  victim  of  In- 
dian atrocity  was  pointed  out  to  us.  Two  maple  trees 
standing  at  the  edge  of  a  shallow  ravine  mark  his 
resting-place.  A  large  pile  of  stones,  gathered  in  the 
adjoining  field,  and  bordering  the  grave,  serve  as  a 
rude  and  unpolished  monument.  The  house  and  barn 
occupied  and  owned  by  the  unfortunate  Jemison  fam- 
ily have  both  succumbed  to  the  ravages  of  time,  and 


no  vestige  remains  to  tell  where  they  once  stood.  A 
few  gnarled  and  decaying  apple  trees,  so  old  that  no 
one  now  living  there  can  tell  when  they  were  planted, 
testify  that  once  near  by  there  stood  a  habitation. 
But  that  solitary  grave  beside  the  maple  trees,  with 
its  cairn-like  monument  and  its  tragic  history,  is  not 

"With  some  hesitation  we  venture  to  relate  what 
was  told  us,  viz.,  that  those  who  plow  among  the  old 
apple  trees  are  wont  to  uncover  a  spot  where  the  soil 
has  the  color  of  blood,  indicating  the  place  where  the 
kindly  earth  received  the  crimson  drops  trickling  from 
the  wounds  of  the  murdered  Buck." 

It  is  a  matter  of  regret  that  no  pencil  sketch  or 
other  picture  from  life  was  ever  taken  of  Mary  Jemi- 
son.  The  fact  that  nothing  of  the  kind  exists  gives 
greater  interest  to  every  description  of  her  personal 
appearance  or  characteristics  by  those  who  have  seen 
her  or  visited  her  in  her  home.  William  B.  Munson, 
M.D.,  of  Independence,  Ohio,  in  reply  to  an  inquiry 
made  by  Mr.  Letchworth  for  such  information  as 
would  be  useful  in  preparing  a  statue  of  Mary  Jemi- 
son,  wrote,  October  12,  1876,  as  follows: 

"According  to  the  picture  which  I  have  in  my 
mind  of  her,  she  had  the  shape,  form,  and  figure  of  an 
active,  lively  little  old  woman,  seventy-five  or  eighty 
years  of  age,  about  four  and  a  half  feet  in  height,  ex- 
hibiting the  remains  of  a  fair  complexion  and  regular 
features  that  had  been  in  youth  extremely  beautiful. 
The  cheek  bones  were  not  prominent,  nor  was  the 
chin,  and  the  nose  was  not  large;  but,  considering 
her  age,  all  these  features  were  quite  symmetrical. 
The  head  was  of  medium  size,  covered  with  gray  hair 
smoothed  backward;  the  neck  was  not  long,  but  in 
due  proportion  to  the  size  of  her  head  and  body; 
the  shoulders  were  rounded  and  stooping  forward  or 
bent,  a  position  which  might  have  been  acquired,  or 

2i8  LIFE  OF 

have  been  brought  about  by  the  manner  of  bearing 
burdens  customary  with  Indian  women,  and  from  age 
and  the  effects  of  hardships  encountered  throughout 
her  eventful  life.  The  eyesight  had  become  dim,  but 
the  features  had  not  become  wrinkled  as  much  as 
might  have  been  expected  from  the  many  troubles 
and  sorrows  endured  by  her. 

"The  'White  Woman'  was  quite  intelligent,  soci- 
able, and  communicative,  but  grave  and  serious  after 
the  manner  of  the  Indians  with  whom  her  life  from 
early  childhood  had  been  spent.  With  familiar  ac- 
quaintances she  would  join  in  lively  conversation  and 
brisk  repartee.  Mentioning  to  her  upon  one  occasion 
that  I  had  read  the  history  of  her  life,  and  that  it  had 
interested  me  very  much,  'Ah,  yes!'  she  replied, 
'  but  I  did  not  tell  them  who  wrote  it  down  half  of 
what  it  was.'  It  was  thought  at  that  time  that  she 
withheld  information  which  the  Indians  feared  might 
stir  up  against  them  the  prejudices  of  the  white 

"In  making  visits  to  the  'White  Woman'  we  were 
in  the  habit  of  taking  along  some  trifling  presents  for 
her.  At  one  time  we  carried  along  a  bottle  of  best 
Madeira  wine.  She  manifested  her  grateful  acknowl- 
edgment of  the  gift,  and,  taking  the  bottle  of  wine, 
went  and  hid  it  carefully  away  from  the  Indians. 

"She  was  residing  in  her  own  blockhouse,  superin- 
tending preparations  of  provisions  for  a  journey  to 
Buffalo,  about  the  last  time  I  saw  her,  shortly  before 
the  final  departure  of  the  Indians  from  the  Genesee 
country.  She  was  assisted  in  the  work  by  her  daugh- 
ter Polly  and  a  number  of  young  papooses.  They  had 
a  large  brass  kettle  swung  over  an  open  fire  of  wood 
upon  the  hearth.  The  kettle  was  filled  with  boiling 
fluid.  Sitting,  standing,  and  squatting  around  a 
large  wooden  trough  filled  with  hominy  made  into 
dough,  the  mother,  daughter,  and  grandchildren  were 
busily  engaged  in  making  up  balls  of  dough  from  the 
kneeding-trough  and  incorporating  therein  plenty  of 
dried  apples  and  pumpkin  which  lay  beside  the 
trough.  As  the  balls  were  made  up  they  were  tossed 


into  the  boiling  kettle,  and  when  deemed  thoroughly 
cooked,  were  taken  out  and  laid  upon  boards  or  pieces 
of  bark.  I  remember  the  food  had  a  savory  odor  and 
appeared  to  be  very  good;  but  we  could  not  vouch 
for  the  palatableness  of  the  delectable  dumplings,  as 
they  offered  none  of  them  to  us.  In  viewing  the  prep- 
aration of  this  food,  however,  we  saw  most  beauti- 
fully and  satisfactorily  solved  the  problem  which  so 
long  muddled  and  belabored  the  brains  of  King 
George  the  Third,  namely,  the  mystery  of  how  the 
apple  got  into  the  dumpling. 

"The  last  time  I  remember  seeing  her  was  late  in 
the  fall  season.  She  was  habited  in  woollen  petticoat 
and  short  gown  that  came  mid-leg  below  the  knees, 
buckskin  leggings  and  moccasins,  and,  over  all,  a 
white,  common  woollen  Indian  blanket.  It  was  just 
at  night,  and  she  was  going  in  search  of  a  stray  In- 
dian pony,  and  was  led  by  a  young  Indian,  one  of  her 
grandchildren.  She  went  spatting  through  the  rivu- 
let of  ice-cold  water  just  north  of  the  house,  and 
although  her  sight  was  so  dim  she  could  scarcely  see, 
to  all  appearance,  to  discern  in  twilight  twice  the 
length  of  a  horse,  on  she  went,  in  spite  of  every  ob- 
stacle, with  the  same  energy  and  determined  purpose 
that  had  characterized  her  whole  life." 

Mr.  Henry  O'Reilly,  the  historian,  in  writing  to 
Mr.  Letch  worth  in  1883,  referred  to  De-he-wa-mis  in 
the  following  sympathetic  strain: 

"My  acquaintance  with  Mary  Jemison  and  my 
visits  to  her  cabin  while  I  was  her  neighbor  in  the 
upper  Genesee  Valley  are  among  the  pleasantest 
recollections  of  my  life.  The  fact  that  I  came  in  boy- 
hood from  that  part  of  Ireland  where  her  parents 
dwelt  made  her  conversations  with  me  particularly  an- 
imated and  enthusiastic.  My  last  visit  to  her  was 
made  when  she  was  about  ninety  years  old,  and  her 
remarks  to  me  then  furnished  to  my  mind  a  striking 
illustration  of  the  proneness  of  aged  persons  to  recur 

220  LIFE  OF 

to  the  phraseology  of  their  youth.     Heaven  rest  her 
gentle  spirit !" 


At  the  request  of  the  Reviser  of  the  1918  edition  of 
"The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison,"  the  writer  of  the  follow- 
ing pages  visited  Adams  County,  Penn.,  in  June,  1918, 
with  a  view  to  getting  such  information  as  might 
enable  him  to  indicate  the  place  of  Mary  Jemison's 
capture  more  definitely  than  it  is  indicated  in  the 
foregoing  pages. 

According  to  the  captive's  narrative  (page  19),  the 
Jemison  family  first  settled  on  a  large  farm  "lying  on 
Marsh  creek"  (see  note  No.  9  on  "Marsh  Creek"); 
but  in  the  autumn  preceding  her  abduction,  they 
moved  to  either  another  part  of  the  farm  or  another 
neighborhood  a  short  distance  from  their  former  abode 
(page  21).  In  his  article  in  the  Gettysburg  Compiler 
in  1875,  before  quoted,  the  Rev.  William  K.  Zieber 
identified  the  site  of  the  Jemisons*  second  home  as 
the  "tract  recently  sold  by  Joseph  I.  Livers  to 
Francis  Cole"  in  what  is  now  Buchanan  Valley.  It 
was  the  task  of  the  present  writer  to  locate  this  tract, 
the  position  of  which  was  so  well  known  to  Mr.  Zieber 
from  personal  visits  but  so  imperfectly  described  by 

The  following  statements  are  based,  first,  upon  a 
careful  reading  of  Mr.  Zieber's  article  in  the  original 
files  of  the  Gettysburg  Compiler;  second,  upon  research 
in  the  office  of  the  Recorder  of  Deeds  for  Adams 
County  in  the  courthouse  at  Gettysburg;  third,  upon 
interviews  with  persons  familiar  with  local  history 
and  traditions;  and  fourth,  upon  a  personal  visit  to  the 


place  which,  for  convenience,  may  be  called  the 
Jemison  farm.  Thanks  to  the  advice  and  geograph- 
ical directions  given  by  William  Arch  McClean,  Esq., 
counsellor-at-law  and  proprietor  of  the  Gettysburg 
Compiler,  at  the  beginning  of  the  investigation,  the 
inquiry  was  greatly  facilitated.  In  looking  over  the 
files  of  this  weekly  paper,  which  celebrated  its  cen- 
tennial anniversary  in  1918,  it  was  interesting  to  note 
the  high  literary  quality  of  its  contents — an  indication 
of  the  character  not  only  of  its  editors  but  also  of  the 
inhabitants  of  Adams  County,  some  of  them  con- 
temporaries of  the  Jemisons,  who  in  successive  genera- 
tions have  been  its  readers  for  a  century  past. 

Among  the  articles  entitled  to  share  in  this  en- 
comium are  those  by  Mr.  Zieber  concerning  Mary 
Jemison.  His  statement  in  regard  to  the  identity  of 
the  place  where  she  was  captured  has  peculiar  value, 
for  his  authority  on  that  point  was  Mrs.  Robert 
Bleakney  whose  information  was  obtained  in  person 
from  her  grandfather,  James  Bleakney;  and  as  James 
Bleakney  was  a  contemporary  and  neighbor  of  the 
Jemisons,  this  source  of  information  is  so  direct  that 
in  the  absence  of  anything  to  the  contrary,  it  must 
be  accepted  as  reliable.  As  both  Mr.  Zieber  and  Mrs. 
Bleakney  are  now  dead,  the  reader  who  is  interested 
in  the  details  of  the  story  of  Mary  Jemison  will  have  a 
deep  appreciation  of  the  historical  zeal  which  led  the 
former  to  record  in  the  Gettysburg  Compiler  the  results 
of  his  interview  with  the  latter,  and  thus  preserve 
the  identity  of  a  spot  having  such  a  dramatic  history. 
The  farm  on  which  Mr.  Zieber  thus  authoritatively 
locates  the  scene  of  Mary  Jemison's  capture  lies  in  the 
angle  formed  by  the  confluence  of  Sharp's  run  and 
Conewaeo  Creek,  in  the  township  of  Franklin,  in 

222  LIFE  OF 

Adams  County,  Perm.,  about  ten  miles  in  an  air  line 
northwest  of  Gettysburg.  While  this  site  is  nearer 
to  Conewago  Creek  than  Marsh  Creek,  the  nearest 
headwaters  of  the  two  streams  are  not  a  mile  apart, 
and  the  place  is  near  enough  to  the  latter  to  warrant 
the  expression  used  in  the  contemporary  account  of 
the  tragedy  in  the  Pennsylvania  Gazette  of  April  13, 
1758,  which  speaks  of  "Thomas  Jamieson's  at  the 
head  of  Marsh  creek." 

The  history  of  this  tract  may  be  traced  back  as  far 
as  1794  in  the  archives  in  the  office  of  the  Recorder 
of  Deeds  of  Adams  County  in  the  courthouse  at 
Gettysburg,  but  as  Adams  County  was  set  off  from 
York  County  in  1800,  records  prior  to  that  date  must 
be  sought  in  York  County. 

On  October  24,  1794,  William  Sharp — probably  he 
after  whom  Sharp's  run  is  named — by  an  instrument 
of  writing  recorded  in  the  office  for  recording  of  deeds 
in  York  County,  in  Book  DD,  page  32,  conveyed  to 
George  Campbell  a  tract  "containing  303  acres  and 
the  usual  allowance  of  six  acres  per  cent." 

On  April  19,  1798,  Campbell  sold  the  property  to 
Peter  Bregner. 

On  December  30,  1799,  Bregner  conveyed  it  to 
Peter  Greckler  (or  Greckeler). 

On  January  20,  1800,  Greckler  conveyed  it  to 
Philip  Stambaugh,  who  willed  it  to  his  sons  Jacob, 
Henry,  and  John. 

On  March  15,  1816,  Jacob  and  Henry  Stambaugh 
conveyed  it  to  John  Lowstetter  (or  Lohstetter)  for 
the  sum  of  $3,030.  This  conveyance,  recorded  at 
page  199  in  Book  H  of  Deeds  at  Gettysburg,  recites  the 
previous  titles. 

By  virtue  of  a  warrant  of  the  Court  of  Common 


Pleas  of  August  15,  1818,  the  Sheriff  of  Adams  County 
seized  the  estate  of  Lowstetter  to  satisfy  a  debt  of 
$639.28  plus  interest  which  Lowstetter  owed  to  Henry 
Harbaugh  and  Peter  Stem,  administrators  of  Yost 
Harbaugh,  deceased;  and  it  was  sold  at  public 
auction  to  Jacob  Harbaugh,  the  highest  bidder,  for 
$700.  It  was  conveyed  by  the  deed  poll  of  the 
Sheriff,  Barnhart  Gilbert,  bearing  date  April  20,  1822, 
and  recorded  in  Book  L,  at  folio  377,  in  the  Recorder's 
office  at  Gettysburg.  The  property  is  described  as 
adjoining  John  Weaver,  Daniel  Noel,  and  others,  and 
on  it  were  two  dwellings,  a  barn  and  a  new  saw- 
mill with  appurtenances. 

On  January  27,  1831,  Harbaugh  conveyed  the  prop- 
erty to  Samuel  Brady,  Sr. 

On  July  20,  1842,  Samuel  Brady,  Sr.,  conveyed  it  to 
Samuel  Brady,  Jr. 

On  March  30,  1867,  Samuel  Brady,  Jr.,  conveyed 
it  to  Joseph  I.  Livers. 

On  May  2,  1874 — which  was  "recently"  with  re- 
spect to  the  Rev.  Mr.  Zieber's  article  in  the  Gettysburg 
Compiler  in  1875 — Livers  conveyed  to  Francis  Cole,  for 
the  consideration  of  $3,500,  a  portion  of  the  above 
described  tract  containing  105  acres  and  14  perches, 
less  7  acres  and  30  perches  sold  to  Abner  D.  Kuhn, 
or  a  tract  of  97  acres  and  15  perches  "neat  measure." 

On  August  24,  1901,  Cole  sold  the  farm  to  John 
Francis  Dillon  who  occupied  it  and  adjacent  property 
in  1918. 

The  farm  can  be  reached  by  two  or  three  routes 
from  Gettysburg,  but  it  may  be  doubted  if  any 
could  be  more  convenient  and  interesting  than  that 
followed  by  the  writer  when  he  visited  the  place  in 
June,  1918.  Leaving  Gettysburg  by  the  Chambers- 

224  LIFE  OF 

burg  Pike  and  crossing  the  historic  Seminary  Ridge 
with  its  many  monuments  and  cannon  marking  the 
scene  of  the  battle  of  July  I,  1863,  one  gets  his  first 
glimpse  of  Marsh  Creek  as  he  crosses  it  about  three 
and  a  half  miles  from  the  city.  A  half  a  mile  farther, 
at  the  little  hamlet  of  Seven  Stars,  the  route  turns 
northward  and  leads  through  Mummasburg  to 
Arendtsville  (see  page  214)  and  thence  northwest- 
ward through  Bridgeport  to  the  Narrows.  The  latter 
is  a  deep  passage  between  Big  Hill  and  Bear  Mountain 
through  which  Conewago  Creek  escapes  from  Bu- 
chanan Valley.  At  the  Narrows  the  writer  paused 
to  interview  the  family  of  James  C.  Cole,  and  received 
helpful  information  from  the  former  owners  of  the 
Jemison  farm  as  to  its  present  ownership  and  location. 
From  the  Narrows,  the  road  emerges  into  Buchanan 
Valley,  named  after  the  fifteenth  President  of  the 
United  States  who  was  born  at  Mercersburg  in  the 
adjacent  county  of  Franklin.  Here  the  road  turns  to 
the  southwestward,  and  in  the  next  two  and  a  half 
miles  crosses  the  Conewago  three  times.  Just  before 
reaching  Sharp's  Run  one  comes  to  an  old  farm  road 
which  leads  off  from  the  main  thoroughfare  north- 
westward toward  Conewago  Creek  and  which  the 
name  on  the  rural  free  delivery  letter-box  indicates  to 
be  the  way  to  Mr.  Dillon's  home.  Mr.  Dillon's  house 
stands  on  the  east  side  of  Sharp's  Run,  about  midway 
between  the  public  road  and  the  Conewago.  In  June, 
beautiful  red  roses  bloom  in  profusion  in  the  door- 
yard,  and  the  pilgrim  may  pick  delicious  cherries  and 
mulberries  from  the  trees  in  the  surrounding  orchard. 
Upon  learning  the  mission  of  the  writer,  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Dillon  and  their  married  daughter  extended  to 
him  the  most  generous  hospitality.  Mr.  Dillon,  who 


In  the  costume  of  the  Iroquois. 


is  familiar  with  the  traditions  of  the  place,  took  evi- 
dent pleasure  in  pointing  out  its  landmarks  and  was 
unremitting  in  his  attentions  as  a  cicerone. 

The  traditional  site  of  Mary  Jemison's  home  at  the 
time  of  her  capture,  as  pointed  out  by  Mr.  Dillon, 
lies  on  the  gently  sloping  west  side  of  the  little  valley 
of  Sharp's  Run,  only  a  few  rods  from  that  small 
stream,  and  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  Conewago 
Creek.  At  the  time  of  the  writer's  visit  the  place 
of  the  terrible  tragedy  of  April  5,  1758,  was  covered 
with  golden  billows  of  wheat  ready  for  the  harvest. 
The  "shallow  ravine"  mentioned  by  Mr.  Zieber  is 
that  of  Sharp's  Run.  The  "two  maple  trees"  which 
marked  the  last  resting-place  of  Robert  Buck,  who 
was  murdered  at  the  time  of  Mary's  abduction,  were 
cut  down  by  Mr.  Dillon  about  fifteen  years  ago,  as 
were  also  the  "few  gnarled  and  decaying  apple  trees," 
remnants  of  the  Jemison  orchard,  mentioned  by  Mr. 
Zieber.  The  "large  pile  of  stones"  marking  the  site 
of  Buck's  grave  is  still  there  and  serves  as  a  lasting 
if  rude  monument  to  preserve  the  identity  of  the  site. 
It  is  to  be  hoped  that,  as  a  worthy  monument  marks 
the  place  in  Letchworth  Park,  in  New  York  State, 
where  Mary  Jemison  is  buried,  so  some  more  suitable 
memorial  may  sometime  be  erected  to  mark  the  spot 
where  her  dramatic  history,  recorded  in  these  pages, 
began.  Mr.  Dillon  referred  to  the  red  spot  in  the 
wheat-field  which,  according  to  the  tradition  recorded 
by  Mr.  Zieber,  is  due  to  the  blood  of  the  murdered 
Buck;  but  he  explained  it  on  the  more  rational  theory 
that  the  earth  was  discolored  by  the  burning  of  a 
stump.  More  tangible  and  credible  evidence  of  the 
presence  of  Indians  is  afforded  by  the  stone  arrow- 
points  which  people  used  to  find  in  this  vicinity. 

226  LIFE  OF 

Mr.  Dillon  says  that  one  neighbor  found  a  beautifully 
fashioned  stone  tomahawk  head  not  far  from  the 
scene  of  the  Jemison  tragedy  several  years  ago. 

Ascending  to  the  top  of  the  hill  on  which  the  wheat- 
field  and  adjacent  corn-field  are  planted,  one  has  a 
fine  prospect  of  the  broad  and  beautiful  valley  which 
the  flowing  waters  of  the  Conewago  have  eroded 
during  ages  of  geological  time.  The  floor  of  the  val- 
ley at  this  point  is  about  1,250  feet  above  the  level  of 
the  sea.  To  the  eastward  lies  Big  Hill  with  an  eleva- 
tion of  1, 600  feet,  while  to  the  westward  Piney  Moun- 
tain rises  to  a  height  of  nearly  1,900  feet. 

Although  this  region  is  called  "mountainous,"  it 
is  not  to  be  inferred  that  it  is  a  wilderness.  It  abounds 
in  broad  valleys  and  smiling  fields  planted  with 
wheat,  oats,  corn,  and  potatoes  in  their  season  and 
is  apparently  excellent  farming  land.  After  visiting 
the  Conewago  and  Marsh  Creek  valleys,  one  can 
readily  understand  why  the  Jemisons  and  other 
pioneers  came  to  this  region  and  braved  the  perils  of 
frontier  life  to  establish  their  homes  in  such  a  paradise. 

Upon  leaving  the  Jemison  farm,  the  return  route 
led  southwestward  for  a  mile,  northwestward  about 
three-quarters  of  a  mile,  and  thence  southwestward 
about  three  miles  to  the  Chambersburg  pike  which 
was  reached  about  a  mile  and  a  half  west  of  Marsh 
Creek  Hollow.  From  this  point  the  pike  leads  one 
through  a  very  picturesque  region  for  a  dozen  miles 
to  Gettysburg,  much  of  the  distance  being  in  sight  of 
Marsh  Creek  valley. 

For  the  benefit  of  other  pilgrims  who  may  be 
tempted  to  visit  the  shrine  of  Mary  Jemison's  girl- 
hood it  may  be  stated  that  the  total  distance  traveled 
by  the  writer  in  this  roundabout  trip  from  Gettysburg 


to  the  Jemison  farm  and  return  was  thirty-three 
miles.  The  Chambersburg  pike  is  a  first-class  State 
highway,  and  the  other  highways  just  described  are 
good  dirt  roads.  The  scenery  throughout  the  whole 
distance  is  varied  and  picturesque,  and  well  repays 
the  traveler. 


228  LIFE  OF 


Interment  of  Mary  Jemison's  body  in  the  Mission  burial- 
ground  at  Buffalo,  N.  Y. — Removal  of  her  remains  to  the 
Genesee  river  at  Portage  Falls. — Erection  of  a  marble 
monument  over  her  grave. — A  bronze  statue  placed  upon 
the  monument. 

MARY  JEMISON  was  buried  in  the  Mission  burial- 
ground  near  Buffalo,  on  the  southerly  side  of  the 
yard,  the  grave  looking  toward  the  east.  The  bury- 
ing-ground  is  much  smaller  than  formerly,  the  old  and 
decayed  boundary  fence  having  been  contracted  to 
within  a  few  feet  of  where  she  was  buried.  Red 
Jacket  was  interred  near  her  grave.  His  remains 
were  removed  to  the  Cattaraugus  Reservation,  and 
subsequently  to  Forest  Lawn  Cemetery,  Buffalo.  A 
large  black  walnut  tree  grew  over  the  grave  of  the 
"  White  Woman,"  its  great  branches  extending  pro- 
tectingly  over  it  and  the  spot  where  Red  Jacket  was 
first  buried.  The  grave  was  situated  in  the  line  of 
one  of  the  new  streets  of  Buffalo,  as  appears  by  one 
of  the  maps  outlining  projected  enterprises,  and  the 
onward  march  of  improvement  would  doubtless  in 
time  have  brought  the  tramp  of  thousands  of  restless 
feet  to  the  spot. 

The  soil  is  that  of  a  dry  yellow  loam.  The  grave 
had  doubtless  been  dug  by  the  Indians,  and  was 


not  as  deep  as  those  usually  made  by  white  people. 
The  process  of  exhuming  was  directed  by  her  grand- 
son, "Dr.  Shongo,"  and  his  instructions  were  scrupu- 
lously observed.  An  excavation  both  wide  and  long 
was  made,  in  order  to  facilitate  removal.  Time,  it  was 
found,  had  obliterated  any  elevation  or  depression  of 
earth  over  the  grave,  if  it  ever  had  been  so  marked. 
A  small  fragment  of  the  head-stone  alone  told  of  its 
sacred  precincts.  About  two  and  a  half  feet  from  the 
surface  of  the  ground  fragments  of  decayed  wood  were 
visible.  They  proved,  upon  close  examination,  to  be 
part  of  the  original  coffin,  which  was  almost  entirely 
disintegrated  by  decay.  Parts  of  the  coffin  could  only 
be  recognized  by  a  discoloration  of  the  earth,  where 
the  dark  wood  had  mingled  with  the  soil  and  become 
a  part  of  it.  Its  outline,  however,  was  distinctly  de- 
fined. Every  piece  of  the  decayed  coffin  and  the 
minutest  particle  of  its  contents,  including  the  earth 
itself,  were  reverently  and  carefully  lifted  up,  com- 
mencing at  the  foot  of  the  grave,  and  placed  in  the 
same  relative  position  in  a  new  coffin;  the  undertaker 
using  for  this  purpose  a  broad  shovel.  The  new  coffin, 
of  solid  black  walnut,  elegantly  mounted  in  silver, 
rested  close  beside  the  grave. 

The  bones  which  came  under  observation  in  process 
of  disinterment  were  clean  and  dry,  and  in  some 
cases  almost  disintegrated,  as  is  usually  the  case  when 
subjected  to  the  action  of  soil  of  this  nature.  The 
cranium  and  jaw  were  perfect.  The  shape  of  the 
chin  betokened  firmness,  a/id  the  intellectual  and 
moral  faculties,  as  indicated  by  the  location  and  size 
of  the  various  organs  of  the  brain,  were  largely  de- 
veloped. The  hair  upon  the  top  of  the  head  was 
gray,  thick,  and  short.  At  the  back  base  of  the  skull 

23o  LIFE  OF 

there  were  a  few  soft,  silken,  yellow  curls  lying  under- 
neath the  gray.     The  bright,  soft  curls  hidden  away 
amid  the  trophies  of  age  were  noted  by  Mrs.  Asher 
Wright,  the  wife  of  the  reverend  missionary  of  this 
name,  in  one  of  her  visits  to  the  "White  Woman" 
before  her  death.     As  Mrs.   Wright  saw  her  lying 
upon  her  bed  of  skins  and  blankets  in  her  log  hut, 
these  curls  stole  out  from  their  hiding-place,  as  her 
withered  fingers  crept  under  her  head,  revealing  at 
the  same  time  a  bit  of  fair  white  skin,  delicate  as  an 
infant's,  which  shone  in  luminous  contrast  with  her 
deeply  wrinkled  sunburnt  features,  that  had  weath- 
ered three-fourths  of  a  century  of  sunshine  and  storm 
and  wigwam  smoke.     A  pair  of  buckskin  moccasins 
contained  a  few  delicate  bones,  all  that  was  left  of  the 
small,  well-shaped  feet  that  had  served  her  in  long  and 
toilsome  marches  through  forest  wildernesses.     The 
leather  of  the  moccasins  was  perfect,  but  the  thongs 
with  which  they  had  been  sewed  and  the  cotton  thread 
used  in  embroidering  the  bead  work  upon  them  had 
entirely  decayed  so  that  the  parts  were  not  held  to- 
gether.    It  was  evident  that  she  had  been  buried  in 
the  costume  in  which  she  had  been  named  by  the 
children  of  the  forest  when  a  lonely  little  girl  on  the 
banks  of  the  Ohio,  an  hundred  years  agone.     The 
broadcloth  of  which  her  leggings  and  skirt  had  been 
made   was    unmistakably    distinguishable,    although 
but  in  very  small  fragments.     It  was  of  fine  texture. 
The  bottom  of  the  leggings  had  been  hemmed  with  a 
narrow  silken  ribbon,  originally  either  pink  pr  scarlet, 
upon  which   small  white   beads  were   embroidered. 
This  silken  binding  was  almost  as  perfect  as  when 
made.     A  somewhat  similar  silken  border  or  hem  em- 
bellished the  broadcloth  skirt.     This  border  was  like- 


wise  in  a  good  state  of  preservation.  Near  the  centre 
of  the  grave  was  found  a  peculiarly  shaped  porcelain 
dish,  which  probably  contained  when  placed  there, 
articles  of  food.  In  the  dish  was  a  wooden  spoon 
greatly  decayed.  The  spoon  was  between  four  and 
five  inches  long,  having  a  wide,  shallow  bowl.  The 
dish  was  of  the  size  of  a  small  dinner  plate,  and  was 
shaped  like  an  ordinary  tea  saucer.  It  was  white  and 
ornamented  at  equal  intervals  with  pale  blue  sprigs  or 
blossoms.  These  were  doubtless  provided  by  her 
Indian  relatives  to  supply  her  with  food  while  jour- 
neying to  the  Indian's  happy  hunting-grounds. 

The  entire  contents  of  the  grave  having  been  duly 
gathered  and  placed  in  a  new  coffin,  the  lid  was 
secured,  and  it  was  conveyed  by  the  undertaker,  as 
directed  by  "Dr.  Shongo,"  to  the  Erie  Railway  depot, 
whence  it  was  conveyed  to  Castile  Station,  Wyoming 
County,  N.  Y.,  and  the  day  following  re-interred  with 
appropriate  ceremonies  near  the  old  Council  House  of 
the  Senecas  on  the  Genesee  River,  near  the  Upper 
Fails  of  the  Genesee.  At  the  time  of  the  Indian 
Council  held  within  this  historic  building  on  the  1st 
of  October,  1872,  Thomas  Jemison,  a  venerable  grand- 
son of  the  deceased,  planted  a  black  walnut  tree  at 
the  spot  which  is  now  the  foot  of  her  grave.  The  nut 
from  which  this  tree  grew  came  from  the  tree  which 
sheltered  the  old  Jemison  grave  on  the  Indian  Mission 
ground.  The  black  walnut  coffin  is  enclosed  in  a  stone 
sarcophagus,  which  is  closely  sealed  with  cement.  At 
the  close  of  the  ceremonies  which  took  place  at  the 
re-interment  on  the  Genesee,  the  coffin  was  opened, 
and  "Dr.  Shongo"  took  therefrom  a  lock  of  hair  from 
the  head  of  his  deceased  relative.  With  this  exception 
all  that  was  once  mortal  of  the  "White  Woman  of  the, 

232  LIFE  OF 

Genesee,"  and  all  that  her  grave  contained  in  the  old 
Mission  burying-ground,  are  held  in  the  stone  sar- 
cophagus buried  near  the  old  Council  House. 

[Buffalo  Courier,  Monday  Morning,  March  10,  1874.] 

The  remains  of  Mary  Jemison,  or  Deh-he-wa-mis,  commonly 
known  as  the  "White  Woman  of  the  Genesee,"  were  taken  up 
last  week  from  the  old  Mission  burying  ground  at  Red  Jacket,  near 
Buffalo,  where  they  had  been  buried  about  forty  years  ago,  and 
conveyed  to  the  neighborhood  of  her  home  and  life-long  associations 
on  the  Genesee  River.  The  stone  that  had  marked  her  grave  had 
been  nearly  destroyed  by  remorseless  relic  hunters,  by  whom  it 
had  been  broken  and  carried  away  piece  by  piece  until  but  a  small 
portion  of  it  remained  above  the  ground.  It  was  feared  by  those 
interested  in  preserving  whatever  pertained  to  the  history  of  this 
remarkable  character  that  in  a  few  years  all  trace  of  her  resting 
place  would  be  obliterated. 

The  removal  of  the  remains  took  place  under  the  direction  of 
James  Shongo,  a  favorite  grandson  of  the  deceased,  son  of  her 
daughter  Polly  by  marriage  with  John  Shongo.  James  was  born 
under  the  "White  Woman's"  roof,  and  was  a  member  of  her  family 
during  his  boyhood,  and  was  present  at  her  death  and  funeral. 
He  also  assisted  in  the  removal  of  his  grandmother  to  Buffalo, 
at  the  time  she  left  the  Gardeau  Reservation,  a  few  years  prior 
to  her  death. 

The  spot  selected  for  the  final  resting-place  of  her  remains  is  a 
high  eminence  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Genesee  River,  overlooking 
the  Upper  and  Middle  Falls.  The  point  is  one  commanding  the 
finest  views  of  the  picturesque  scenery  of  Portage — including  both 
the  Upper  and  Middle  Falls  and  railroad  bridge.  Upon  this 
eminence  and  quite  near  to  her  present  grave  is  the  ancient  Seneca 
Council-house,  removed  a  year  or  two  since  from  Caneadea, 
within  which  it  is  believed  Mary  Jemison  rested  for  the  first  time 
after  her  long  and  fatiguing  journey  of  six  hundred  miles  from 
Ohio,  during  which  she  carried  her  infant  upon  her  back.  The 
re-interment  took  place  on  Saturday  afternoon  in  the  presence 
of  a  large  concourse  of  people,  some  of  whom  were  old  citizens  from 
the  Reservation  which  she  once  owned,  who  had  known  her  during 
her  life  and  held  her  memory  in  esteem.  The  remains  were  borne 
from  Castile  village  to  the  old  Council-house,  within  which  ap- 
propriate exercises  were  conducted  by  Rev.  W.  D.  McKinley  of 
Castile.  They  consisted  of  the  reading  of  selections  from  Scripture, 
a  brief  but  very  interesting  reminiscence  of  the  eventful  life  of 
the  subject,  and  prayer.  From  the  Council-house  the  remains  were 



taken  to  the  grave,   a  few  feet  northerly  of  the  building.     The 

following  gentlemen  officiated  as  pall-bearers: 



Mary  Jemison's  former  residence  on  the  Gardeau  Flats  is  but  a 
few  miles  from  the  spot  where  her  ashes  now  repose,  and  the 
murmur  of  the  Genesee  may  be  heard  as  one  stands  by  her  grave 
as  she  heard  it  during  nearly  seventy  years  that  she  lived  upon  its 

[From  the  Buffalo  Commercial  Advertiser,  March  10,  1874.] 

In  our  issue  of  Saturday  last  we  made  reference  to  the  "Dese- 
cration of  an  Old  Grave."  As  the  circumstances  were  reported 
to  us  by  a  prominent  member  of  the  police  force,  whose  information 
it  seems  was  based  on  mischievous  reports,  an  air  of  mystery  was 
thrown  about  a  common-place  transaction,  that  left  the  parties 
participating  in  it  in  an  undeservedly  reprehensible  position.  The 
facts,  as  we  have  since  gathered  them,  are  substantially  these: 

The  grave  referred  to  was  that  of  Mary  Jemison,  whose  Indian 
name  was  Deh-he-wa-mis.  She  was  commonly  called  by  the  early 
settlers  of  Western  New  York  "The  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee." 
It  seems  that  for  several  years  past  James  Shongo,  a  favorite 
grandson  of  the  "White  Woman,"  had  contemplated  removing  the 
remains  of  his  grandmother  from  their  late  precarious  resting- 
place  to  some  spot  more  remote  from  the  encroachments  of  modern 
improvements.  In  this  laudable  desire  his  wishes  have  been 
seconded  by  others  of  her  kindred.  "Dr.  Shongo"  is  a  son  of 
Polly  and  George  Shongo,  and  grandson  of  a  noted  Indian  who  was 
principal  chief  at  Caneadea  in  the  old  Indian  wars.  Polly  Shongo 
was  the  youngest  child  of  the  "White  Woman."  She  lived  with 
her  mother  from  the  time  of  her  marriage  until  her  mother's  death, 
and  afterwards  retained  the  old  homestead  until  the  Indians  re- 
moved to  the  Cattaraugus  Reservation.  "Dr.  Shongo"  was 
born  under  the  "White  Woman's"  roof  upon  the  Gardeau  Reserva- 
tion, in  the  present  town  of  Castile,  and  but  two  or  three  miles 
from  the  lower  falls  at  Portage.  He  spent  his  boyhood  about 
her  person,  and  she  is  said  to  have  been  very  fond  of  him,  always 
desiring  to  have  him  near  her.  He  assisted  in  removing  her  to 
Buffalo  at  the  time  she  reluctantly  left  her  home  on  the  Genesee 
River,  in  1831,  only  two  years  before  her  death.  He  was  by  her 
side  in  her  last  moments  and  was  a  sincere  mourner  at  her  funeral. 
He  is  now  fifty-three  years  of  age,  and  it  is  but  natural  that  filial 
affection  should  desire  what  others  interested  in  perpetuating  his- 


234  LIFE  OF 

tory  would  like  to  see  accomplished — namely,  the  preservation  of 
her  grave. 

The  stone  which  has  marked  it  for  forty  years  past  had  been 
ruthlessly  destroyed  by  relic-seekers.  Only  a  small  portion  of  it 
was  visible  above  the  ground.  It  was  liable  at  any  time  to  be 
cast  aside,  and  when  this  should  happen  all  traces  of  one  whose  life 
was  filled  with  extraordinary  events  would  have  been  lost,  except 
as  it  existed  in  memory  and  upon  the  pages  of  history.  The  process 
of  exhuming  took  place  on  Friday  last  by  Mr.  Kraft,  undertaker, 
under  the  direction  of  "Dr.  Shongo,"  whose  wishes  were  particu- 
larly observed  throughout.  The  remains,  which  were  but  slightly 
distinguishable,  were  conveyed  to  the  Erie  R.  R.  depot  the  same 
day.  They  were  taken  to  Castile  Station  in  charge  of  "Dr. 
Shongo,"  and  the  same  afternoon  and  during  Saturday  afternoon 
from  Castile  Station  to  the  Genesee  River,  followed  by  a  numerous 
cortege  in  carriages,  comprising  the  best  citizens  of  Castile  and 
from  "The  Reservation,"  a  number  of  whom  knew  the  "White 
Woman"  when  alive,  and  held  her  memory  in  respect. 
The  following  persons  acted  as  pall-bearers: 



The  remains  were  taken  within  the  old  log  Council-house  of  the 
Senecas,  now  occupying  a  high  eminence  overlooking  the  Upper 
and  Middle  Falls  at  Portage.  Within  this  ancient  relic  brief 
exercises  were  conducted  by  the  Rev.  W.  D.  McKinley  of  Castile, 
consisting  of  the  reading  of  selections  from  Scripture,  and  a  short 
reminiscence  of  the  eventful  life  of  Mary  Jemison;  the  whole  closing 
with  prayer.  The  remains  were  deposited  a  few  feet  northerly  from 
the  Council-house,  beside  a  black  walnut  tree,  planted  a  few  years 
since  by  the  hand  of  Thomas  Jemison,  son  of  the  "White  Woman's  " 
oldest  son  Thomas,  who  is  now  a  feeble  old  man.  A  similar  tree 
opposite  the  westerly  entrance  to  the  building  was  planted  by 
John  Jacket,  a  descendant  of  Red  Jacket,  and  another  at  the  easterly 
door  was  planted  by  Mrs.  Osborne,  a  descendant  of  Capt.  Brant, 
in  which  task  she  was  assisted  by  one  of  Buffalo's  most  honored 
citizens,  whom  at  this  moment  we  reverently  mourn.162 

We  are  informed  that  it  is  the  intention  of  the  proprietor  of  the 
land  about  her  grave  to  erect  thereon  a  suitable  monument  or 
other  fitting  memorial. 

So  far  from  deserving  any  censure,  the  conduct  of  "  Dr.  Shongo," 
grandson  of  this  remarkable  woman,  in  thus  endeavoring  to  per- 
petuate the  earthly  abiding-place  of  his  relative,  is  highly  praise- 
worthy. Others  who  may  have  aided  him  in  carrying  out  this  un- 
selfish purpose  are  certainly  entitled  to  great  commendation. 


Soon  after  the  removal  of  the  remains  of  Mary  Jern- 
ison  to  the  Indian  Council  House  grounds  a  marble 
monument,  the  design  for  which  was  approved  by  her 
grandson,  James  Shongo,  and  some  other  of  her  de- 
scendants, was  erected  at  the  grave  by  the  proprietor 
of  the  Council  House  grounds.  One  of  its  sides  bears 
the  inscription  upon  the  original  tombstone.  (See 
page  196.) 

Another  side  is  inscribed  as  follows: 



Whose  home  during  more  than  seventy  years  of  a  life  of 
strange  vicissitude  was  among  the  Senecas  upon 

the  banks  of  this  river;    and  whose  history, 

inseparably  connected  with  that  of  this  valley,  has 

caused  her  to  be  known  as 

On  another  side  is  the  following  inscription: 

The  remains  of 


were  removed  from  the 

Buffalo  Creek  Reservation 

and  reinterred  at  this  place 

with  appropriate  ceremonies 

on  the  7th  day  of  March,  1874. 

Over  the  grave,  and  conforming  to  its  shape,  is  a 
curbing  of  stone  slabs,  the  centre  space  being  filled 
with  earth  to  form  a  flower-bed.  The  stones  are  un- 
hewn and  but  a  few  inches  thick.  They  were,  how- 
ever, rude  headstones,  once  used  to  mark  the  graves 
in  the  Indian  burial-ground  near  the  house  of  Mary 

236  LIFE  OF 

Jamison's  daughter  Nancy  on  the  Gardeau  Reserva- 
tion. After  Mary  Jemison  left  the  reservation  the 
burial-ground  was  ruthlessly  desecrated.  A  barn  was 
built  in  the  midst  of  the  graves,  and,  in  excavat- 
ing for  the  foundation,  the  bones  of  many  of  the 
silent  occupants  were  recklessly  scattered  over  the 
surface  of  the  ground,  presenting  at  one  time,  accord- 
ing to  an  eye  witness,  a  shocking  sight.  The  grave- 
yard was  plowed  over  and  the  headstones  of  the  graves 
were  used  in  constructing  a  culvert  in  the  highway 
near  by.  With  the  consent  of  the  highway  commis- 
sioner these  were  removed  by  the  editor  of  this  edition 
some  years  since  and  placed  about  Mary  Jemison's 
grave  in  the  manner  just  mentioned.  In  the  bed  thus 
formed  wild  flowers  were  planted  by  Shongo. 


In  the  foregoing  pages  of  this  chapter,  written  by 
Dr.  Letchworth  in  1877,  he  has  modestly  refrained 
from  mentioning  that  he  gave  Mary  Jemison's  re- 
mains a  resting-place  on  his  own  estate.  Mr.  Letch- 
worth  made  his  first  acquisition  of  land  at  this  place 
in  1859,  and  gradually  increased  his  estate  until  it 
comprised  about  1,000  acres,  lying  on  both  sides  of 
the  Genesee  River  for  a  distance  of  about  three  miles 
and  including  the  three  famous  Portage  Falls.  In 
1907  he  gave  this  superb  tract  to  the  State  of  New 
York  for  a  public  park,  upon  condition  that  it  should 
be  in  the  custody  of  the  American  Scenic  and  Historic 
Preservation  Society,  retaining  a  life  tenancy  until 
his  death,  nearly  four  years  later. 

Mary  Jemison's  grave  is  on  a  small  elevated  plateau, 


which  is  called  the  Council  House  Grounds  from  the 
ancient  log  Council  House  of  the  Senecas  which 
stands  a  few  feet  to  the  southeastward.  The  Council 
House  formerly  stood  at  Caneadea.  It  was  purchased 
by  Dr.  Letchworth  October  5,  1871,  and  removed  to 
its  present  site  in  the  spring  of  1872.  A  short  dis- 
tance southwest  of  the  grave  is  a  similar  building,  a 
log  cabin  which  Mary  Jemison  built  on  the  Gardeau 
Reservation  about  1800  for  one  of  her  daughters.  It 
was  given  to  Dr.  Letchworth  in  July,  1880,  by  Mr. 
John  Olmsted  when  it  was  threatened  with  destruc- 
tion and  Dr.  Letchworth  removed  it  to  the  Council 
House  Grounds  for  preservation. 

This  spot,  sacred  to  Mary  Jemison's  memory,  is 
almost  an  ideal  sanctuary  for  her  remains.  The  little 
clearing  is  encircled  by  the  forests  which  she  knew. 
The  Council  House,  which  she  passed  on  her  journey 
to  the  Genesee  Valley,  and  the  log  cabin  which  she 
built  for  her  daughter,  were  objects  familiar  to  her. 
Her  grave  is  bordered  by  ancient  stones  which  once 
marked  the  graves  of  the  people  among  whom  she 
lived.  In  a  vista  through  the  trees  to  the  southward 
can  be  seen  the  Upper  Fall  which  she  saw.  The  only 
artificial  object  in  sight  which  was  unknown  to  her  is 
the  monument  erected  to  her  memory. 

At  the  foot  of  the  heights  whose  crest  constitutes 
the  Council  House  Grounds,  but  not  visible  from 
those  grounds,  is  the  Glen  Iris  residence,  the  home  of 
Dr.  Letchworth  for  over  half  a  century — an  old- 
fashioned  but  inviting  and  romantic  building,  still 
extending  its  hospitality  to  the  visitor  to  Letchworth 
Park,  and  breathing  yet  of  the  genius  of  the  philan- 
thropist who  once  dwelt  therein.  Just  to  the  north- 
westward of  the  residence  is  the  new  stone  Library 

238  LIFE  OF 

and  Museum,  containing  many  relics  of  the  period 
in  which,  and  of  the  people  among  whom,  Mary  Jem- 
ison  lived. 

Dr.  Letchworth  had  such  a  keen  appreciation  of 
the  character  of  the  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee 
that  he  was  not  content  with  providing  a  quiet  spot 
for  her  last  resting-place  and  placing  over  it  a  marble 
monument.  His  wish  to  do  more  to  honor  the  memory 
of  the  heroic  woman  is  expressed  in  the  following 
letter,  delivered  by  him  to  the  American  Scenic  and 
Historic  Preservation  Society  on  September  19,  1910, 
when  his  wish  was  consummated  in  the  dedication 
of  a  beautiful  bronze  statue  of  Mary  Jemison  which 
was  placed  on  the  marble  monument. 

"To  the  American  Scenic  and  Historic  Preservation 

Society,  greeting: 

"When,  in  1874,  the  remains  of  Mary  Jemison  were 
placed  beside  the  ancient  Indian  Council  House  of  the 
Senecas  on  the  grounds  now  included  in  Letchworth 
Park,  only  the  marble  base  of  the  monument  which 
it  was  intended  should  mark  her  final  resting  place 
was  erected.  It  was  then  my  purpose  to  complete 
the  monument,  as  soon  as  circumstances  would  per- 
mit, by  placing  thereon  a  bronze  statue  of  this 
unfortunate  and  heroic  woman.  With  this  object  in 
view  I  set  about  obtaining  all  possible  information 
respecting  the  personal  characteristics  of  Mary 
Jemison  from  persons  who  knew  her  intimately  and 
had  frequently  visited  her  in  her  home,  but  it  was 
not  until  recent  years  that  I  could  give  sufficient 
attention  to  the  subject  to  take  actual  steps  towards 
the  accomplishment  of  my  long-cherished  plan.  After 
careful  and  deliberate  consideration  and  many  con- 
ferences with  the  eminent  sculptor,  Mr.  H.  K.  Bush- 
Brown,  it  was  arranged  that  he  should  undertake 
the  task  of  making  the  statue.  Mr.  Bush-Brown 
spent  much  time  in  studying  his  subject,  and  the 


model  which  he  produced  was  pronounced  historically 
correct  by  Professor  Arthur  C.  Parker,  Chief  of  the 
Archaeological  Department  of  the  New  York  State 
Museum;  and  as  a  work  of  art  it  was  approved  by  a 
committee  of  the  National  Sculptors'  Society  and  also 
by  a  committee  of  the  American  Scenic  and  Historic 
Preservation  Society  consisting  of  Honorable  Charles 
M.  Dow,  chairman  of  the  Letchworth  Park  Com- 
mittee, George  F.  Kunz,  Sc.D.,  Ph.D.,  President, 
and  Edward  Hagaman  Hall,  L.H.D.,  Secretary  of  the 
Society.  For  the  kindly  services  rendered  by  all  those 
interested  in  the  development  of  the  statue  I  beg  to 
make  my  grateful  acknowledgments. 

"When  the  statue  was  completed  in  July  last  it  was 
placed  by  Mr.  Bush-Brown  on  the  marble  base  where 
it  now  stands,  and  subsequently  was  made  per- 
manently secure  by  the  Messrs.  Bureau  Brothers, 
bronze  founders,  of  Philadelphia,  the  work  being 
done  in  such  a  manner,  with  the  use  of  bolts  and 
cement,  as  to  make  the  statue  an  integral  part  of 
this  memorial  to  Mary  Jemison. 

"It  is  my  intention  and  desire  that  this  bronze 
statue  of  Mary  Jemison  shall  always  remain  where  it 
is  now  placed,  and  that  it  shall  remain  as  much  a  part 
of  these  lands  and  grounds  as  the  grave  itself.  It 
has  become  in  law  a  part  of  the  real  estate  and  passes 
under  your  control  and  management  at  the  same  time 
and  upon  the  same  conditions  as  the  rest  of  the 


"  Letchworth  Park, 
"Township  of  Genesee  Falls,  N.  Y. 
September  19,  1910.'* 

The  statue  is  of  bronze,  somewhat  larger  than  life 
size.  It  represents  the  white  girl  as  she  is  believed 
to  have  appeared,  arriving  at  the  Genesee,  dressed  in 
Indian  garb,  carrying  her  Indian  babe  on  her  back, 

24o  LIFE  OF 

and  a  small  bundle  in  her  right  hand.  Her  attitude 
and  the  flow  of  her  drapery  indicate  the  motion  of 
walking.  The  features  of  Mary  Jemison  were  mod- 
eled from  those  of  a  girl  who  was  of  Scotch-Irish 
ancestry  and  who  was  about  the  same  age  as  Mary 
Jemison  when  she  arrived  at  the  Genesee.  The  face  of 
the  babe,  showing  the  distinct  Indian  cast  of  features, 
was  modeled  after  a  life  study  of  an  actual  descendant 
of  Mary  Jemison.  The  dress  represented  in  the  statue 
is  similar  to  those  worn  by  the  Shoshonean  women 
and  perhaps  other  western  tribes.  As  Mary  Jemi- 
son commenced  her  memorable  journey  from  Ohio 
she  possibly  wore  a  dress  of  this  character.  The  baby 
board  (ga-os-ha)  is  of  the  Iroquois  type  and  was 
modeled  from  specimens  in  the  American  Museum 
of  Natural  History  and  New  York  State  Museum. 
The  hoop  over  the  face  serves  the  double  purpose  of 
forming  a  frame  for  covering  the  baby's  face  and  for 
a  protection  should  a  limb  crash  against  it  or  the 
board  fall  when  placed  on  the  ground  against  a  tree. 
The  wrappings  about  the  baby  are  arranged  in  two 
bands  which,  in  the  originals,  are  always  of  different 
colors,  usually  red  and  blue.  A  covering  for  the  face  is 
arranged  to  be  drawn  over  the  hoop  and  cover  the 
child's  face.  In  the  statue  this  is  pushed  back  against 
the  mother's  shoulders  to  allow  the  face  of  the  babe 
to  show.  The  bands  are  modeled  from  specimens 
then  in  the  New  York  State  Museum,  once  owned  by 
Flying  Feathers,  a  Tonawanda  Seneca.  The  breast 
band  or  head  band  which  holds  the  baby  board  was 
modeled  from  one  collected  in  1853  by  Lewis  H. 
Morgan,  the  first  great  Indian  student  and  father  of 
the  science  of  American  anthropology.  The  original 
was  woven  of  elm  bark  shreds,  warp  and  woof  of  one 

*  £ 


X    3 

O      J 
£      t« 


material,  and  was  in  the  New  York  State  Museum 
collection.  The  side  pouch  was  modeled  from  the 
Red  Jacket  side  pocket  which  in  the  original  was  doe 
skin  embroidered  with  porcupine  quills.  The  wooden 
ladle  just  above  it  is  a  characteristic  spoon  of  the 
Senecas.  The  belt  was  modeled  from  a  unique 
specimen  and  the  decorations  are  of  moose  hair  and 
porcupine  quills.  It  was  a  Morgan  specimen.  The 
leggings  were  modeled  from  a  pair  collected  at  Tona- 
wanda  and  are  typical.  The  moccasins  were  designed 
from  a  rare  pair  collected  by  Mr.  Morgan. 

On  the  base  of  the  statue  is  Mary  Jemison's  Indian 
name — Deh-ge-wa-nus. 

The  dedicatory  exercises  were  opened  with  an  invo- 
cation by  the  Rev.  Louij  H.  Peirson  of  Castile,  N.  Y., 
after  which  addresses  were  delivered  by  Charles  M. 
Dow,  LL.D.,  of  Jamestown,  N.  Y.,  Chairman  of  the 
Letchworth  Park  Committee  of  the  American  Scenic 
and  Historic  Preservation  Society;  George  Frederick 
Kunz,  Ph.D.,  Sc.D.,  of  New  York  City,  President 
of  the  Society;  Edward  Hagaman  Hall,  L.H.D.,  of 
New  York  City,  Secretary  of  the  Society;  Mr.  Arthur 
C.  Parker  of  Albany,  N.  Y.,  archaeologist  of  the 
New  York  State  Museum;  Charles  Delamater  Vail, 
L.H.D.,  of  Geneva,  N.  Y.,  a  Trustee  of  the  custodian 
Society;  Professor  Liberty  Hyde  Bailey  of  Ithaca, 
N.  Y.,  Dean  of  the  New  York  State  College  of 
Agriculture  at  Cornell  University;  and  Mr.  H.  A. 
Dudley  of  Warsaw,  N.  Y.,  who  saw  Mary  Jemison 
in  1831.  Mr.  Letchworth's  letter  of  presentation, 
before  quoted,  was  read,  as  was  a  letter  from  Mr. 
Bush-Brown,  the  sculptor.  The  statue  was  unveiled 
by  Mrs.  Thomas  Kennedy  and  Miss  Carlenia  Bennett 
-  Mrs.  Kennedy  being  the  daughter  of  Thomas  Jemi- 

242  LIFE  OF 

son,  grandson  of  the  child  represented  on  Mary 
Jemison's  back,  and  Miss  Bennett  being  of  the  sixth 
generation  from  Mary  Jemison.  Mr.  Peirson  pro- 
nounced the  benediction. 

On  the  following  morning  an  Indian  dedicatory 
ceremony  was  held. 

An  extended  account  of  all  these  ceremonies  is  to 
be  found  in  the  Sixteenth  Annual  Report  of  the 
American  Scenic  and  Historic  Preservation  Society 
published  in  1911. 

The  dedication  of  the  statue  of  Mary  Jemison  was 
the  last  occasion  on  which  Dr.  Letchworth  appeared 
in  public.  He  died  less  than  three  months  later,  on 
December  I,  1910,  and  was  buried  in  Forest  Lawn 
Cemetery  in  Buffalo,  N.  Y.  It  was  as  if  in  the  com- 
pletion of  his  plan  adequately  to  fix  in  lasting  memory 
the  name  of  the  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee  he 
he  reached  the  consummation  of  his  wish  and  himself 
had  lain  down  to  rest. 




Mary  Jemison's  last  will  and  testament. — Sale  of  her  rights 
in  17,927  acres  of  the  Gardeau  Reservation  recalled. — 
Personality  of  the  Indian  witnesses  of  the  will. 

ALTHOUGH  many  editions  of  the  narrative  of  the 
life  of  Mary  Jemison  which  James  E.  Seaver  wrote 
ninety-three  years  ago  have  been  published,  each 
more  complete  than  its  predecessor,  and  thousands 
of  newspaper  articles  have  been  written  about  her 
extraordinary  career,  the  subject  is  by  no  means 
exhausted.  The  Rochester  Post-Express  published 
many  contributions  to  her  history,  but  none  more 
interesting  than  the  article  which  it  printed  on  De- 
cember 15,  1894,  containing  the  text  of  the  last  will 
and  testament  of  the  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee. 
This  document,  which  had  never  been  printed  before, 
was  in  the  possession  of  Hon.  William  C.  Bryant  of 
Buffalo,  through  whose  courtesy  the  Post-Express 
was  enabled  to  obtain  a  copy.  Following  is  the  text 
of  the  will  and  the  comments  thereon  as  they  ap- 
peared in  the  Post-Express: 

In  the  name  of  God,  Amen.  I,  Mary  Jamison, 
of  the  town  of  Castile,  in  the  county  of  Genesee,  and 

244  LIFE  OF 

state  of  New  York,  being  of  sound  mind  and  perfect 
memory  (blessed  be  Almighty  God  for  the  same), 
and  considering  the  uncertainty  of  this  mortal  life, 
do  make  and  publish  this  my  last  will  and  testament 
in  manner  and  form  following  (that  is  to  say,  viz.:) 
I  will  that  all  my  debts  and  funeral  charges  be  paid 
out  of  my  goods  and  effects.  I  give  and  bequeath  to 
my  beloved  daughters,  Nancy  Jamison,  Betsey 
Jamison  and  Polly  Jamison,  in  equal  proportions, 
and  to  their  heirs  forever,  the  three  quarters  of  the 
principal  and  interest  of  a  certain  bond  and  mortgage 
executed  by  Jellis  Clute  and  Micah  Brooks  for  the 
sum  of  four  thousand  two  hundred  and  eighty-six 
dollars,  dated  September  3d,  1823.  I  also  give  and 
bequeath  to  George  Jamison,  Jacob  Jamison,  John 
Jamison,  Thomas  Jamison,  2d,  Jesse  Jamison,  Peggy 
White,  Jane  White,  and  Catharine  Jamison,  the 
children  of  my  beloved  son,  Thomas  Jamison,  de- 
ceased, the  other  remaining  one-fourth  part  of  the 
principal  and  interest  of  the  bond  and  mortgage  of 
the  said  Clute  and  Brooks,  to  them  and  their  heirs 
forever.  I  also  will  and  bequeath  to  my  three 
daughters  above  named,  in  equal  portions,  the  re- 
mainder of  my  goods  and  effects,  and  I  hereby  appoint 
Jellis  Clute,  of  Moscow,  my  sole  executor  of  this  my 
last  will  and  testament — hereby  revoking  all  former 
wills  by  me  made.  In  witness  whereof  I  have  here- 
unto set  my  hand  and  seal  this  third  day  of  September, 
1823,  one  thousand,  eight  hundred  and  twenty-three. 


(Signed)  MARY    X    JAMISON     (L.S.). 


Signed,  sealed,  published  and  declared  by  the 
above-named  named  Mary  Jamison  to  be  her  last 
will  and  testament  in  the  presence  of  us  who  have 
hereunto  subscribed  our  names  as  witnesses  in  the 
presence  of  the  testator.  The  words  "three-quar- 


ters"  in  the  I3th  line  and  the  words  "one-fourth" 
in  the  22d  line  interlined  before  signing. 
(Signed)  MICAH  BROOKS, 





STATE  OF  NEW  YORK,  )  r 
ERIE  Co.,  \  ss' 

I,  Israel  T.  Hatch,  surrogate  of  the  county  of  Erie, 
do  hereby  certify  that  in  pursuance  of  chapter  6th, 
Title  i,  Article  I,  Part  2,  of  the  Revised  Statutes  of 
the  State  of  New  York,  upon  the  proofs  and  examina- 
tions taken  at  the  surrogate's  office  in  the  city  of 
Buffalo  and  county  of  Erie  on  the  29th  day  of  De- 
cember, 1834,  and  27th  day  of  April,  1835,  by  the 
testimony  of  Micah  Brooks,  Thomas  Clute,  William 
Clute,  James  Stevens  and  Pollard,  subscribing  wit- 
nesses to  the  last  will  and  testament  of  the  said  Mary 
Jamison,  deceased,  and  of  James  Stryker,  Manning 
Stryker,  John  Ricord  and  Seneca  White,  that  the 
said  will  was  duly  executed  and  that  at  the  time 
of  executing  the  same  the  testatrix  was  in  all  re- 
spects competent  to  make  a  will  and  of  full  age  and 
not  under  any  restraint,  and  in  all  respects  competent 
to  devise  real  estate.  I  further  certify  that  the  will 
and  proofs  thereof  are  recorded  in  the  surrogate's 
office  in  the  county  of  Erie,  in  Liber  2  of  Wills  at 
pages  102,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  8  and  9. 

In    testimony   whereof  I,    the    surrogate 
aforesaid,  have  hereunto  set  my  hand  and 
[SEAL]       affixed   my   seal  of  office  this   7th   day  of 
April,  1835. 

I.  T.  HATCH, 


246  LIFE  OF 

It  will  be  observed  that  the  will  was  made 
on  the  day  that  Jellis  Clute  and  Micah  Brooks 
executed  the  mortgage  for  $4,286.  This  mortgage 
formed  part  of  the  consideration  for  the  purchase 
by  these  men  of  all  Mary  Jemison's  right,  title, 
and  interest  to  the  17,927  acres  of  the  Gardeau 
Reservation,  with  the  exception  of  a  tract  two 
miles  long  and  one  mile  wide  lying  on  the  Genesee 
River,  which  she  reserved  for  her  own  use,  and 
one  lot  of  land  which  she  had  promised  to  give 
to  Thomas  Clute  for  his  faithful  guardianship  over 
her  property. 

This  sale  was  the  conclusion  of  negotiations  extend- 
ing over  seven  years,  for  it  was  in  1816  that  Micah 
Brooks,  of  Bloomfield,  and  Jellis  Clute,  of  Leicester, 
first  proposed  to  buy  the  land  which  lay  in  an  unpro- 
ductive state.  Many  obstacles  presented  themselves. 
To  begin  with,  it  was  necessary  that  Mary  Jemison 
should  become  naturalized,  so  she  could  make  a  legal 
conveyance,  and  to  this  end  a  special  act  of  the 
Legislature  was  necessary.  Then  it  was  discovered 
that  the  assent  of  the  Seneca  chiefs  must  be  obtained 
to  the  sale  and  that  this  assent  must  be  given  at  a 
council  under  the  superintendence  of  a  commission 
appointed  by  the  President  of  the  United  States. 
The  Council  was  held  at  Moscow,  Livingston  County, 
September  3,  1823,  Major  Carroll,  Judge  Howell,  and 
Nathaniel  Gorham  being  the  commissioners,  Jasper 
Parrish  the  Indian  agent,  and  Horatio  Jones  the  in- 
terpreter. According  to  Mary  Jemison's  narrative, 
Henry  B.  Gibson  was  associated  with  Brooks  and 
Clute  in  the  purchase  and,  among  other  considerations, 
they  bound  themselves  to  pay  Mary  Jemison,  her 
heirs  and  successors  $300  a  year  forever.  Jellis  Clute, 


one  of  the  purchasers,  was  made  sole  executor  of  her 

Captain  Pollard,  called  in  Seneca,  Ga-oun-do-wah- 
nah,  meaning  Big  Tree,  one  of  the  witnesses  to  the 
execution  of  the  will,  was  a  famous  Seneca  chief, 
scarcely  inferior  to  Red  Jacket  as  an  orator,  and  the 
noblest  of  the  Senecas  after  the  death  of  Cornplanter. 
He  was  one  of  the  fiercest  warriors  in  the  Wyoming 
massacre,  and  during  the  Revolution  participated 
actively  in  border  warfare.  In  his  old  age — a  tall, 
benevolent  man  with  features  and  complexion  ap- 
proaching the  type  of  southern  Europe — he  was  a 
devout  Christian  and  took  an  active  part  in  the 
prayer-meetings  in  the  little  chapel  on  the  Buffalo 
Creek  Reservation,  and,  unlike  Red  Jacket,  was  an 
earnest  advocate  of  civilization.  About  the  year  1820 
Soongiso,  or  Tommy  Jemmy,  armed  with  the  un- 
written decree  of  the  Seneca  council,  put  to  death  a 
squaw  accused  of  witchcraft.  He  was  arrested  and 
imprisoned  in  Buffalo.  The  next  morning  a  band  of 
angry  warriors  gathered  in  the  streets  of  that  city. 
"Among  them,"  says  Mr.  Bryant  in  his  biography  of 
Orlando  Allen,  "was  Sagoyewatha,  or  Red  Jacket, 
who  addressed  them  with  fiery  invective,  lashing  the 
Indians  into  fury  by  his  artful  and  fiery  eloquence. 
A  massacre  seemed  imminent,  but  just  then  the  tall 
form  of  Captain  Pollard  was  seen  moving  through  the 
multitude.  Commanding  silence  by  a  gesture,  he 
urged  the  assembled  warriors,  in  a  temperate  and 
eloquent  speech,  to  disperse  to  their  homes  and 
remain  quiescent  until  an  appeal  to  the  white  man's 
law  and  sense  of  justice  should  prove  ineffectual.  His 
voice  was  obeyed.  The  subsequent  trial  and  ac- 
quittal of  Tommy  Jemmy  were  a  triumph  to  Red 

248  LIFE  OF 

Jacket,  and  a  vindication  of  the  assailed  sovereignty 
of  the  Seneca  nation."  The  Hon.  Orlando  Allen,  of 
Buffalo,  who  knew  Pollard  well,  said:  "He  was  one 
of  the  most  honest,  pure-minded,  worthy  men  I  ever 
knew,  white  or  red."  Horatio  Jones  said  that 
"morally  Pollard  was  as  good  a  man  as  any  white 
minister  that  ever  lived."  Captain  Pollard  was  a 
half-breed,  his  mother  being  a  Seneca  and  his  father 
an  English  trader  whose  headquarters  were  at  Niagara. 
He  was  a  settler  there  in  1767  and  a  merchant  there 
in  1788.  .  His  Indian  name  was  Sha-go-di-yot-hah," 
"a  man  who  incites  them  to  fight."  Captain  Pollard 
died  of  consumption  on  the  Buffalo  Reservation, 
April  10,  1841. 

James  Stevens  (his  name  usually  appears  in  his- 
torical records,  and  properly  so,  as  Stevenson),  who 
was  also  one  of  the  witnesses  to  the  will,  was  a  half- 
breed  like  Cornplanter  and  Captain  Pollard.  His 
mother  was  a  Seneca  princess,  his  father  a  Colonial 
military  officer.  In  one  of  his  admirable  contribu- 
tions to  the  history  of  western  New  York,  William  C. 
Bryant  said :  "When  the  Senecas  decided  to  cast  their 
fortunes  with  the  British,  at  the  opening  of  the 
Revolutionary  War,  Stevenson's  mother  was  con- 
strained by  her  fierce  and  jealous  relatives  to  abandon 
the  hated  offspring  in  the  woods,  near  Cayuga  Lake, 
and  the  agonized  parent,  with  the  rest  of  her  family, 
was  hurried  to  the  British  post,  Fort  Niagara.  Her 
poor  babe,  but  little  more  than  three  years  old, 
wandered  for  two  days  in  the  woods  subsisting  on 
such  wild  berries  as  chance  threw  in  his  way.  When 
almost  famished,  a  kind  Providence  directed  the  poor 
child's  steps  to  a  rude  hut  on  the  banks  of  the  lake, 
which  was  the  home  of  an  Indian  recluse — a  Penobscot 


hunter  who  had  wandered  far  from  the  home  of  his 
tribe  in  the  wilds  of  Maine.  This  kind  old  man  took 
the  child  into  his  cabin,  fed  and  nourished  him, 
taught  him  to  fish  and  hunt,  and  treated  him  with 
fatherly  kindness.  When  the  long  and  dreary  war 
was  over,  the  babe,  grown  to  be  a  handsome  stripling, 
took  an  affectionate  leave  of  his  adopted  father,  and 
wandered  back  to  Buffalo  Creek,  where  he  was  soon 
clasped  in  the  arms  of  his  delighted  and  weeping 
mother."  Chief  Stevenson  died  a  sincere  Christian 
December  28,  1845,  aged  about  87. 

One  of  the  witnesses  examined  when  the  will  of 
Mary  Jemison  was  admitted  to  probate  April  7,  1835, 
was  Seneca  White,  who  was  one  of  the  most  distin- 
guished of  the  later  series  of  chiefs  and  leaders  of  the 
Iroquois.  He  was  one  of  three  brothers,  all  prominent 
Senecas,  and  known  respectively  as  Seneca  White, 
White  Seneca,  and  John  Seneca.  Their  father  was  a 
white  captive  called  "White  Boy,"  or  "Old  White 
Boy,"  of  whom  many  pleasing  anecdotes  wTere  related 
by  the  early  pioneers.  Seneca  White  was  frequently 
called  "The  Handsome  Seneca"  to  distinguish  him 
from  the  other  members  of  the  family  of  Seneca. 
We  quote  once  more  from  Mr.  Bryant:  "Mrs. 
Asher  Wright  and  her  husband  frequently  spoke  with 
admiration  and  affection  of  'Old  White  Boy.'  His 
first  great  sorrow  occurred  when  he  was  engaged  in 
play  with  his  little  red  companions  and  they  ac- 
quainted him  with  the  fact  that  he  was  of  a  different 
color,  and  belonged  to  the  hated  race  of  palefaces. 
He  came  home  sobbing  to  his  Indian  mother  who 
confessed  to  him  that  he  was  not  her  son  except  by 
adoption.  At  that  time  he  formed  a  resolution,  to 
which  he  adhered  all  his  life,  that  he  would  by  a 

250  LIFE  OF 

blameless  and  beneficent  life  make  the  name  White 
Boy  loved  and  respected  by  the  most  inveterate 
enemies  of  his  race."  Seneca  White  was  called 
Nis-ha-nye-nant  in  Seneca,  meaning  "fallen  day/' 
He  died  May  19,  1873,  aged  about  91. 





Geographical  names. — Dialects  of  the  Iroquois. — Little 
Beard's  Town. — The  Genesee  Valley. — Land  slide. — 
Gardeau  Flats — Subsequently  Mary  Jemison  Reserva- 
tion.— Mount  Morris. — Big  Tree  Village. — Caneadea. 

HAVING  conducted  the  principal  subject  of  our  nar- 
rative to  Genishau,  or  Little  Beard's  Town,166  on  the 
banks  of  Genesee  River,  whereon,  within  the  space  of 
twelve  miles  along  that  stream,  she  has  since  resided 
seventy-two  years  of  her  life — this  likewise  being  the 
ground  on  which  most  of  the  scenes  we  are  about  to 
relate,  whether  of  joy  or  sorrow,  pleasure  or  pain, 
whether  ludicrous  or  horrible,  were  enacted — we  will 
give  the  reader  a  brief  geographical  sketch  of  the 
country,  and  point  out  the  localities,  and  those  in  the 
surrounding  country,  most  of  which  have  already 
been,  or  will  hereafter  be,  referred  to  in  this  narrative. 

It  will  be  understood  that,  in  describing  Indian  vil- 
lages, etc.,  we  have  relation  to  their  state  then;  for 
some  of  them  have  long  since  been  deserted  by  the 
Indians  and  demolished  by  the  whites;  and  at  this 
time,  1842,  all  those  on  the  Genesee  River  have 
ceased  to  exist,  scarce  leaving  a  memorial  or  trace  to 
point  out  the  spot  on  which  they  stood.  It  will  like- 
wise be  observed  that  the  distances  herein  given  are 

252  LIFE  OF 

according  to  the  Indian  trails  or  paths  usually  traveled 
by  them  in  that  early  day. 

A  few  remarks  on  Indian  names  and  the  Indian  lan- 
guage, in  this  place,  may  be  serviceable  to  the  reader 
who  is  unacquainted  with  the  significant  properties  of 
Indian  proper  names,  and  the  monotonous  sounds  and 
full  aspirations  of  the  language  of  the  Iroquois.  It 
has  been  often  observed  that  a  great  discrepancy 
exists  among  writers,  not  only  in  the  spelling,  but  in 
the  necessary  pronunciation  of  Indian  names  of  the 
same  persons  or  places.  It  requires  but  a  short  ex- 
planation to  elucidate  the  cause  of  this  difficulty. 
Among  the  Six  Nations,  not  only  each  nation  con- 
verses in  a  different  dialect,  but  each  tribe  in  the 
same  nation  have  peculiarities  in  their  language  not 
common  in  the  other  tribes,  although  probably  not 
varying  more  than  the  dialects  in  many  of  the  counties 
in  England. 

All  Indian  names,  whether  of  persons  or  places,  are 
significant  of  some  supposed  quality,  appearance  or 
local  situation;  and  the  Indians  having  no  written 
language  originally,  denominated  persons  and  places 
in  conformity  to  such  quality,  etc.,  in  their  own 

The  better  to  be  understood,  we  will  mention  a 
particular  case  or  two,  which  will  give  a  full  explana- 
tion to  the  position  assumed:  Red  Jacket,  the  cele- 
brated Indian  orator,  had  six  or  seven  different,  and 
in  some  instances  very  dissimilar  Indian  names,  as 
written  or  spoken;  but  they  all  meant,  in  the  dialect 
to  which  they  belonged,  "Keeper  Awake."  The 
same  remarks  will  apply  to  the  name  of  the  creek 
which  empties  into  Genesee  River,  near  Mount 
Morris,  generally  called  Canniskrauga,167  which  has 


four  or  five  other  quite  different  Indian  names,  all 
meaning  the  same,  in  English,  to  wit,  "Among  the 
slippery-elms,"  as  the  creek  bore  the  name  of  an 
Indian  village  through  which  it  passed,  the  village 
having  been  named  from  its  local  situation. 

These  explanations  were  obtained  some  years  since, 
from  the  late  Capt.  Horatio  Jones,  who  was  one  of  the 
best,  if  not  the  best  Indian  linguist  in  the  country; 
and  his  explanation  had  an  influential  bearing  in  an 
important  land  trial,  as  that  creek  had  been  called 
by  several  very  different  Indian  names  in  the  old 
title-deeds  of  large  tracts  of  land.  In  order  to  have 
a  correct  idea  of  the  pronunciation  of  Indian  names, 
they  must  be  divided  into  as  many  monosyllabical 
words  as  there  are  syllables,  for  so  they  originally  were, 
and  an  h  added  to  almost  every  syllable  ending  with  a 
vowel.  Therefore,  as  is  the  case  in  the  pronunciation 
of  all  sentences  composed  of  words  of  one  syllable 
only,  all  difference  of  accent  is  destroyed,  and  the 
Indians  use  very  little  difference  of  emphasis.  For 
example,  take  the  original  name  of  Canandaigua,  as 
now  spelled  and  pronounced  in  the  Seneca  language, 

Formerly,  in  using  Indian  names,  it  was  necessary  to 
pay  some  attention  to  the  Indian  pronunciation,  so  as 
to  be  understood  by  the  aborigines;  but  as  they,  to- 
gether with  their  languages,  are  fast  fading  from 
among  us,  that  necessity  no  longer  exists.  Therefore, 
it  becomes  necessary  to  Anglicise  such  names,  and 
make  them  conform  to  the  English  pronunciation  in 
as  soft  and  smooth  sounds  as  possible,  to  which  the 
letters  composing  the  word,  when  written,  should  be 
made  to  correspond. 

Little  Beard's  Town,  where  Mary  Jemison  first  re- 

254  LIFE  OF 

sided  when  she  came  to  Genesee  River,  was  the  most 
considerable  Indian  village,  or  town,  in  its  vicinity. 
We  have  no  means  at  this  time  of  ascertaining,  or  even 
estimating  its  extent  or  population;  but  tradition, 
as  well  as  Mary  Jemison,  informs  us,  that  it  covered 
a  large  territory  for  a  village,  and  that  it  was  thickly 

Its  chief,  or  ruler,  was  Little  Beard — a  strong- 
minded,  ambitious,  and  cruel  man;  and  an  arbitrary 
and  despotic  ruler. 

This  village  stood  near  the  north  end  of  the  twelve 
miles  in  length  heretofore  mentioned,  on  the  Genesee 
Flats,  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  between  the  present 
villages  of  Genesee  and  Moscow,  about  midway, 
although  nearest  to  Moscow,  and  near  the  site  of  the 
new  village  of  Cuyler,  on  the  Genesee  Valley  Canal. 

The  tract  of  country  around  its  site  has  the  most 
delightful  appearance  imaginable,  considering  there 
are  no  lofty  snow-clad  peaks,  deafening  cataracts,  or 
unfathomable  dells,  to  stamp  it  with  the  appellation 
of  romantic.  The  alluvial  flats  through  which  the 
river  meanders  for  four  or  five  miles  above  and  many 
miles  below  are  from  one  mile  to  two  miles  wide,  as 
level  as  a  placid  lake,  and  as  fertile,  to  say  the  least,  as 
any  land  in  this  state.  Thousands  of  acres  of  these 
flats  were  cleared  of  their  timber  when  Indian  tradi- 
tion commences  their  description.  These  flats  are 
encompassed  on  each  side  by  a  rolling  country, 
gradually  rising  as  it  recedes  from  the  river,  but  in 
no  place  so  abrupt  as  to  merit  the  cognomen  of  a  hill. 
This  was  the  terrestrial  paradise  of  the  Senecas;  and 
to  this  tract  they  gave  the  name  of  Gen-ish-a-u, 
Chen-ne-se-co,  Gen-ne-se-o,  or  Gen-ne-see,  as  pro- 
nounced by  the  different  Indian  tribes,  and  being 


interpreted,  all  meaning  substantially  the  same,  to 
wit:  Shining-Clear-Opening,  Pleasant-Clear-Opening, 
Clear-Valley,  or  Pleasant-Open-Valley.  From  this 
favorite  spot  Genesee  River  took  its  name;  and  these 
flats,  at  that  early  period,  assumed  and  still  continue 
to  retain  exclusively  the  name  of  Genesee  Flats,  as  a 
distinction  from  Gardeau,  Caneadea,  and  other  flats 
which  bear  local  names  although  lying  on  the  same 

Genesee  River  rises  in  Pennsylvania  and,  after  enter- 
ing this  state,  pursues  its  course  with  some  rapidity, 
a  little  west  of  north,  through  a  hilly  country,  forming 
little,  if  any,  alluvial  flats,  until  it  approaches  Bel- 
videre  (Judge  Church's  villa  near  Angelica,)  about 
twenty  miles  from  Pennsylvania  line.  From  thence 
it  continues  the  same  general  course  with  less  rapidity, 
winding  its  way  through  flats  of  a  greater  or  less 
width,  to  a  point  in  Caneadea,  about  thirty-three 
miles  from  Pennsylvania  line,  following  the  general 
course  of  the  river,  where  it  alters  to  east  of  north, 
which  direction  it  pursues  until  it  falls  into  Lake 
Ontario.  From  Belvidere  to  this  bow,  or  rather 
angle  in  the  river,  and  from  the  angle  to  the  falls 
below  Portageville,  the  flats  are  enclosed  on  each  side 
by  high  lands,  although  not  precipitous  or  lofty.  The 
river  continues  to  run  with  moderate  rapidity  through 
flats  from  this  angle  to  near  Portageville,  where  the 
highlands  close  in  to  the  river  banks. 

At  Portageville,  about  fifteen  miles  from  the  angle 
at  Caneadea,  begin  the  great  Portage  Falls  in  this 
river.  From  the  upper  falls  to  Mount  Morris  and 
Squawkie  Hill,  a  distance  of  sixteen  miles,  the  river 
runs  through  a  chasm,  the  sides  of  which  are,  the 
greater  part  of  the  distance,  formed  by  solid,  and 

256  LIFE  OF 

almost,  or  quite,  perpendicular  walls  of  rock,  from 
two  to  four  hundred  feet  high.  In  some  places,  how- 
ever, these  walls  diverge  so  far  from  each  other  as  to 
allow  spots  of  excellent  alluvial  flats  to  be  formed  on 
one  side  of  the  river  or  the  other,  and  in  some  places  on 

Immediately  above  the  upper  falls  there  exists  all 
the  appearance  of  a  ridge  of  rock  having  once  run 
across  the  river,  in  which  case  it  would  have  raised 
the  water  some  two  hundred  feet  above  its  present 
level,  and,  of  course,  formed  a  lake  from  one  to  two 
miles  wide,  and  extending  back  over  the  Caneadea 
and  other  flats,  to  Belvidere,  a  distance  of  twenty- 
eight  or  thirty  miles;  but,  if  ever  this  was  the  case, 
the  river  has,  centuries  ago,  cut  through  this  ridge, 
and  formed  considerable  rapids  where  it  stood,  above 
and  opposite  Portageville.  The  river,  after  appar- 
ently cutting  through  this  ridge,  precipitates  itself 
into  the  chasm  below,  by  a  somewhat  broken,  al- 
though what  would  be  termed  perpendicular  fall  of 
sixty-six  feet.  The  stream  at  this  place  is  about 
twelve  rods  wide,  after  which  it  flows  through  the 
chasm  on  a  smooth  rock  bottom.  Half  a  mile  below 
the  upper  falls,  the  river  (where  it  is  about  fifteen  rods 
wide)  again  precipitates  itself  in  an  unbroken  sheet, 
one  hundred  and  ten  feet  perpendicularly  into  a 
deeper  channel,  forming  the  "Middle  Falls."  The 
magnificence  and  beauty  of  these  falls  is  not  exceeded 
by  anything  of  the  kind  in  the  state,  except  the 
cataract  of  Niagara.  On  the  west  side  of  the  river, 
at  the  top  of  the  falls,  is  a  small  flat  piece  of  land,  or 
rather  rock,  on  which  is  a  sawmill  and  several  dwell- 
ing-houses, which  can  be  approached,  down  a  ravine 
from  the  west,  with  any  kind  of  carriage.  The 

s  - 


stream  pursues  its  course  in  the  same  direction,  pent 
within  its  rock-bound  and  precipitous  shores,  about 
two  miles,  where  it  takes  its  third  and  last  leap  in 
this  vicinity,  of  ninety-three  feet,  into  a  still  deeper 
chasm,  the  greater  body  of  water  falling  on  the 
eastern  side,  where  a  portion  of  it  falls  into  a  kind  of 
hanging  rock  basin,  about  one-third  of  the  distance 
down,  and  then  takes  another  leap.  This  fall  can  be 
approached  on  the  east  side  by  pedestrians  with  per- 
fect safety. 

The  river  then  pursues  its  northeastern  course, 
through  its  deep  and  narrow  channel,  to  Gardeau 
Flats,  about  five  miles  from  the  lower  falls.  The 
banks  of  the  river,  or  rather  the  land  bordering  on  the 
chasm  the  greater  portion  of  this  distance,  is  covered 
with  elegant  white  and  Norway  pine.  At  the  upper 
end  of  the  Gardeau  Flats  is  the  Great  Slide,  which 
has  been  so  often  noticed  as  a  great  curiosity. 

In  the  month  of  May,  1817,  a  portion  of  the  land 
on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  thickly  covered  with 
heavy  timber,  suddenly  gave  way,  and  with  a  tremen- 
dous crash  slid  into  the  bed  of  the  river,  which  is  so 
completely  filled  that  the  stream  formed  a  new  chan- 
nel on  the  east  side  of  it,  where  it  continues  to  run. 
This  slide,  as  it  now  lies,  contains  twenty-two  acres, 
and  has  a  considerable  share  of  the  timber  that  for- 
merly covered  it  still  standing  erect  and  growing,  al- 
though it  has  suffered  the  shock  produced  by  a  fall 
of  some  two  hundred  feet  below  its  former  elevation. 

The  Gardeau  Flats  are  from  eighty  to  one  hundred 
and  twenty  rods  wide,  and  extend  two  miles  and  a 
quarter  down  the  river,  lying  mostly  on  the  west  side 
of  it.  There  are  several  ravines  and  depressions  in 
the  high  banks  on  both  sides  of  the  river  at  the  upper 

258  LIFE  OF 

end  of  these  flats,  so  that  a  road  has  been  made 
which  admits  the  passage  of  carriages  from  the  high- 
lands on  one  side  of  the  river  to  the  highlands  on  the 
other,  a  bridge  having  been  erected  across  the  river: 
this  place  above  the  slide  is  called  St.  Helena.  Some 
four  miles  below  St.  Helena  is  Smoky  Hollow,  con- 
taining from  two  to  three  hundred  acres  of  alluvial 
flats,  approachable  from  the  west  only  with  safety, 
and  in  that  direction  through  a  ravine  and  down  a 
steep  declivity:  this  was  within  Mrs.  Jemison's 
original  reservation.  Below  this  place  three  or  four 
miles,  the  river  receives  the  outlet  of  Silver  Lake.169 
This  lake  or  pond  is  a  beautiful  pellucid  sheet  of 
water,  three  and  a  half  miles  long,  and  from  half  to 
three-fourths  of  a  mile  in  breadth,  lying  about  four 
miles  west  of,  and  several  hundred  feet  above  the 
Genesee  River,  thereby  creating  a  vast  water-power 
for  so  small  a  stream. 

Some  distance  below  the  entrance  of  the  outlet  of 
Silver  Lake  into  the  river  is  from  twenty  to  twenty- 
five  acres  of  alluvial  flats  in  a  perfect  dell.  It  was 
purchased  many  years  ago  by  a  man  who  now  resides 
on  it,  although  his  land  extends  over  the  high  bank, 
and  includes  handsome  level  land  there.  It  is  certain 
that  he  and  his  family  do  go  in  and  out  of  this  dell, 
and  that  he  gets  in  cattle  and  other  domestic  animals; 
but  it  would  test  the  science  of  an  engineer  to  ascertain 
how  he  effects  it. 

At  the  distance  of  eleven  miles  from  St.  Helena  is 
Mount  Morris,170  on  the  right  or  eastern  side  of  the 
river,  and  Squawkie  Hill  on  the  left  or  western. 
These  are  not  mountains,  or  even  hills,  within  the 
common  acceptance  of  the  words,  but  merely  a  descent 
of  two  or  three  hundred  feet,  and  that  not  abrupt, 


nor  is  its  existence  in  any  particular  line  of  demarka- 
tion  observable,  from  the  upper  plateau  of  land 
through  which  the  depressed  channel  of  Genesee 
River  runs  down  to  Genesee  Flats. 

From  Mount  Morris  and  Squawkie  Hill,  where  the 
river  disgorges  itself  from  the  thraldom  of  its  rocky 
and  precipitous  banks,  it  moves  slowly,  taking  a 
serpentine  course  through  the  Genesee  and  other 
flats:  the  high  grounds  on  each  side  gradually  dimin- 
ishing in  height,  and  the  alluvial  flats  decreasing  in 
width  in  proportion,  until  the  stream  merely  flowc  in 
its  shallow  channel  through  a  champaign  country, 
before  it  reaches  the  great  falls  at  Rochester,  near 
forty  miles  from  Mount  Morris,  where,  after  passing 
the  rapids,  it  falls  ninety-six  feet  perpendicularly 
into  a  chasm  below,  through  which  it  flows  one  and 
a  half  miles  further  and  then  passes  two  more  per- 
pendicular falls,  within  a  short  distance  of  each  other, 
the  upper  one  of  twenty-five  feet  and  the  lower  of 
eighty-four  feet.  At  the  foot  of  these  falls  the  river 
becomes  navigable  for  steamboats,  and  runs  slug- 
gishly five  miles  through  a  deep  ravine  a  portion  of 
the  way  to  its  mouth,  where  it  disembogues  itself 
into  Lake  Ontario. 

Big  Tree  m  village,  which  bore  the  name  of  one  of 
its  chiefs,  was  a  small  village  lying  a  mile  and  a  half 
north  of  Little  Beard's  Town.  Ten  miles  still  further 
down  the  river  was  situated  Cannewagus  172  village, 
a  place  of  some  note  for  a  sub-village.  This  was  the 
residence  of  the  patriarch  Hot  Bread. 

Tonawanda  Indian  village,  whose  inhabitants  have 
always  been  remarkable  for  their  peaceable  and  quiet 
disposition,  is  situated  on  the  Tonawanda  creek,  about 
forty  miles  northwest  of  Little  Beard's  Town,  on  the 

26o  LIFE  OF 

great  Indian  trail  from  east  to  west  passing  through 
this  country.  The  Great  Bend  of  the  Tonawanda 
creek,  between  Little  Beard's  Town  and  the  Tona- 
wanda village,  where  the  village  of  Batavia  now 
stands,  was  a  noted  camping-ground  for  the  Indian 
while  passing  to  and  fro  on  this  trail.  Still  further 
northwest,  thirty-two  miles  from  Tonawanda  village, 
is  Tuscarora  village,  inhabited  by  the  most  civilized, 
agricultural,  mechanical,  and  commercial  tribe  of  the 
Six  Nations.  Lewiston  is  three  miles  west  of  Tus- 
carora village,  and  Fort  Niagara  is  seven  miles  north 
of  Lewiston,  making  the  whole  route  from  Little 
Beard's  Town  to  Fort  Niagara,  following  this  trail, 
eighty-two  miles.  From  Lewiston  seven  miles  south 
was  Fort  Schlosser,  a  mere  stockade  fort;  the  Devil's 
Hole  being  about  midway  between  those  two  points. 
Fort  Schlosser  was  at  the  northern  termination  of  the 
navigable  waters  of  the  Niagara  River  above  the 
falls;  and  this  seven  miles  from  Lewiston  to  Schlosser 
was  the  only  place  requiring  land  transportation  for 
men,  stores,  or  merchandise,  from  Quebec  to  Fort 
Mackinaw,  or,  indeed,  from  the  Atlantic  Ocean  to 
the  end  of  Lake  Superior.  These  forts,  therefore, 
Niagara  and  Schlosser,  were  considered  very  important 
by  the  contending  parties  in  olden  times,  the  French 
and  the  English. 

From  Tonawanda  village  about  twenty-five  miles 
southwesterly  lies  the  first  Indian  village  on  the  Buf- 
falo creek,  along  which  and  its  several  branches  there 
are  a  number  of  Indian  villages  and  single  wigwams. 
Up  the  shore  of  Lake  Erie  in  a  southwestern  direction, 
about  thirty-five  miles  from  Buffalo  creek,  is  the 
village  of  Cattaraugus,  situated  on  the  creek  of  the 
ame  name,  two  or  three  miles  from  its  mouth,  being 


about  one  hundred  miles  from  Little  Beard's  Town, 
following  this  circuitous  trail,  which  was  the  one 
always  traveled  by  the  Indians,  unless  an  experienced 
runner  took  a  shorter  cut,  at  his  own  hazard,  in  a 
case  of  emergency. 

East  of  Little  Beard's  Town  are  Conesus,  Hemlock, 
Candice,  Honeoye,  Canandaigua,  and  Seneca  lakes; 
five  miles  west  of  the  foot  of  the  latter  stood  the  famous 
Indian  and  tory  headquarters,  called  the  "Old  Castle." 
The  foot  of  Canandaigua  Lake  is  about  ten  miles  west 
of  the  Old  Castle,  and  thirty-four  miles  east  of  Little 
Beard's  Town. 

The  Indian  village  of  Can-ne-skrau-gah,  meaning 
"among  the  slippery-elms,"  was  situated  about  four- 
teen miles  southeasterly  of  Mount  Morris,  on  a  creek 
of  the  same  name,  which  empties  into  Genesee  River 
near  the  latter  place.  This  village  stood  on  or  near 
the  ground  now  occupied  by  the  village  of  Dansville. 
East  of  the  junction  of  Genesee  River  and  Canne- 
skraugah  creek,  extending  some  distance  up  the  river 
and  down  the  river,  was  a  sparsely  settled  Indian  vil- 
lage or  settlement,  which  appeared  to  be  a  kind  of 
suburb  of  Genishau,  or  Little  Beard's  Town. 

Squawkie  Hill  village,173  lying  about  two  miles  south 
of  Little  Beard's  Town,  was  a  great  resort  for  the 
Indians  to  enjoy  their  sportive  games,  gymnastic 
feats,  and  civic  festivals. 

Caneadea  Indian  village,  or  rather  villages,  were 
situated  up  the  Genesee  River  on  the  Caneadea 
Flats,  beginning  at  the  mouth  of  Wiscoy,  meaning 
"Many  Fall,"  creek,  twenty  miles  from  Mount 
Morris,  and  extending  up  the  river,  at  intervals, 
eight  or  nine  miles,  nearly  to  the  great  angle  in  the 
river.  From  the  southern  end  of  Caneadea  Indian 

262  LIFE  OF 

settlement  southwesterly  about  forty-five  miles,  on 
the  Alleghany  River,  is  the  small  Indian  village 
called  by  Mrs.  Jemison  U-na-waum-gwa,  but  now 
known  as  Tu-ne-un-gwan.  Further  down  the  river  is 
Kill  Buck's  Town,  at  the  mouth  of  Great  Valley 
creek,  and  Buck  Tooth's  Town,  at  the  mouth  of 
Little  Valley  creek.  Below  these  is  Che-na-shung- 
gan-tan  or  Te-ush-un-ush-un-gau-tau,  being  at  the 
mouth  of  what  is  now  called  Cold  Spring  creek,  in 
the  town  of  Napoli,  Cattaraugus  County,  N.  Y. 
This  village  is  about  eighteen  miles  below  Tuneung- 
wan.  Below  these  are  several  Indian  settlements 
along  the  river,  the  most  considerable  of  which  is 
Cornplanter's  settlement,  extending  several  miles 
along  the  river,  Cornplanter  himself  being  located 
near  the  center. 

Of  the  population  of  the  several  Indian  villages  and 
settlements  at  the  time  Mrs.  Jemison  emigrated  to 
this  section  of  country  we  can  make  no  estimate; 
and  even  in  latter  years,  so  wandering  are  the 
habits  of  the  Indians  that  a  village  may  be  filled  to 
overflowing,  apparently,  with  residents,  one  month, 
and  be  almost  depopulated  the  next.  Their  manner 
of  lodging,  cooking,  and  eating  greatly  facilitates 
their  migratory  propensities,  as  one  large  cabin  will  as 
well  accommodate  fifty  as  five.  A  deer-skin  for  a 
bed,  a  large  kettle  for  a  boiler,  hot  ashes  or  embers 
for  an  oven,  a  bark  trough  for  a  soup-dish  and  platter, 
a  chip  for  a  plate,  a  knife  (which  each  carries,)  a  sharp 
stick  for  a  fork,  and,  perhaps,  a  wooden  spoon  and 
tin  cup,  comprehend  a  complete  set  of  household 
furniture,  cooking  and  eating  utensils.  Even  at  this 
day,  the  only  time  the  number  of  individuals  who 
compose  a  tribe  is  known,  or  pretended  to  be  known, 


is  when  they  are  about  to  receive  their  annuities; 
and  it  is  then  impossible  to  ascertain  a  "local  habita- 
tion or  a  name"  for  but  few  of  the  individuals  for 
whom  annuities  are  drawn  as  belonging  to  such  a 

The  following  statement  of  the  numbers  and  loca- 
tion of  the  Indians  composing  the  Six  Nations,  in  1823, 
is  a  specimen  of  the  precision  adopted  in  the  transac- 
tion of  our  public  business  relative  to  Indian  affairs. 
This  account  was  obtained  from  Captain  Horatio 
Jones,  who  was  the  United  States  agent  for  paying  the 
annuities  to  the  Six  Nations. 

The  individuals  belonging  to  the  Six  Nations,  in  the 
State  of  New  York,  are  located  on  their  reservations 
from  Oneida  Lake  westward  to  Lake  Erie  and  Alle- 
ghany  River,  and  amount  to  five  thousand.  Those 
located  in  Ohio  on  the  Sandusky  River  amount  to  six 
hundred  and  eighty-eight,  to  wit:  three  hundred  and 
eighty  Cayugas,  one  hundred  Senecas,  sixty-four 
Mohawks,  sixty-four  Oneidas,  and  eighty  Onondagas. 
The  bulk  of  the  Mohawks,  together  with  some  of  each 
of  the  other  five  nations,  reside  on  the  Grand  River, 
in  Upper  Canada. 





Indian  geographical  names  in  the  territories  of  the  Senecas, 
Cayugas,  Onondagas,  Oneidas,  and  Mohawks,  with  their 
corresponding  English  names  and  their  signification. 







Cattaraugus  Creek, 

(  Ga-da-ges-ga-o, 
(  Ga-hun'-da,175 

Silver  Creek, 

Ga-a-nun-da'-ta,  G. 

Chautauqua  Creek, 

Ga'-no-wun-go,  G. 

Conewango  River, 

Ga'-no-wun-go,  G. 

Canadawa  Creek, 

Ga-na'-da-wa-o,  G. 

Cassadaga  Creek, 

Gus-da'-go,  G. 

Cassadaga  Lake, 

j  Gus-da'-go, 
(  Te-car-ne-o-di',175 

Chautauqua  Lake, 

Cha-da'-queh,  T. 



Alleghany  River, 
Great  Valley  Creek, 
Little  Valley  Creek, 
Oil  Creek, 
Ischuna  Creek, 
Oswaya  Creek, 
Burton  Creek, 
Lime  Lake, 


Running    through    the    Hem- 

Fetid  Banks. 

A  Mountain  leveled  down. 
In  the  Rapids. 

In  the  Rapids.  [locks. 

Running    through    the    Hem- 
Under  the  Rocks. 

Under  the  Rocks. 

Place  where  one  was  lost. 
Fetid  Banks. 


O-hee'-yo,  G.  The  Beautiful  River. 

O-da'-squa'-dos-sa,  G.  Around  the  Stone. 
O-da'-squa'-wa-teh',  G.Small  Stone  beside  a  large  one 
Te-car'-nohs,  G.  Dropping  Oil. 

He'-soh,  G.  Floating  Nettles. 

O-so'-a-yeh,  G.  Pine  Forest. 

Je'-ga-sa-nek,  G.  Name  of  an  Indian. 

Te-car'-no-wun-do,  T.  Lime  Lake. 
De-as'-hen-da-qua,        Place  for  holding  Courts. 
Je'-ga-sa-neh,  Name  of  an  Indian. 




INDIAN  NAME.                                SIGNIFICATION. 


He'-soh,                          Same  as  Ischuna  Creek. 

Hasket  Creek, 

O-so'-a-went-ha,  G.       By  the  Pines. 

Alleghany  Village, 

De-o'na-ga-no,                Cold  Spring. 

Alleghany  Village, 

Jo'-ne-a-dih,                   Beyond  the  Great  Bend. 

Oil  Spring  Village, 

Te-car'-nohs,                   Dropping  Oil. 

Bend  Village, 

Da'-u-de-hok-to,            At  the  Bend. 

Trail  of  the  Eries, 

Ga-qua'-ga-o-no,  Wa-a'-gwen-ne-yuh. 


Two  Sisters  Creek, 

Te-car'-na-ga-ge,  G.      Black  Waters. 

Caugwaga  Creek, 

Ga'-gwa-ga,  G.               Creek  of  the  Cat  Nation. 

Smokes  Creek, 

Da-de-o'-da-na-suk'-to,  G.  Bend  in  the  Shore. 

Cazenovia  Creek, 

Ga-a'-nun-deh-ta,  G.    A  Mountain  flattened  down. 

Buffalo  Creek, 

Do'-sho-weh,  G.             Splitting  the  Fork. 

Cayuga  Creek, 

Ga-da'-geh,  G.                Through  the  Oak  Openings. 

Ellicott  Creek, 

Ga-da'-o-ya-deh,  G.       Level  Heavens. 

Grand  Island, 

Ga-weh'-no-geh,             On  the  Island. 

Eighteen-Mile  Creek, 

Ta-nun'-no-ga-o,  G.      Full  of  Hickory  Bark. 

Murder  Creek, 

De'-on-gote,  G.              Place  of  Hearing. 

Lake  Erie, 

Do'-sho-weh,  T.             Same  as  Buffalo  Creek. 


Do'-sho-weh,                  Same  as  Buffalo  Creek. 

Black  Rock, 

De-o'-steh-ga-a,             A  Rocky  Shore. 


Ga-sko'-sa-da-ne-o,        Many  Falls. 

Clarence  Hollow, 

Ta-nun'-no-ga-o,           Full  of  Hickory  Bark. 


De'-on-gote,                   Place    of    Hearing.      (Neuter 



Ga-squen'-da-geh,          Place  of  the  Lizard. 

Red  Jacket  Village, 

Te-kise'-da-ne-yout,      Place  of  the  Bell. 

Falls  Village, 

Ga-sko'-sa-da,                The  Falls. 

Cattaraugus  Village, 

Ga-da'-ges-ga-o,             Same  as  Cattaraugus  Creek. 

Carrying  Place  Vil. 

Gwa'-u-gweh,                Place  of  taking  our  Boats,  or 



Tonawanda  Creek, 

Ta'-na-wun-da,  G.        Swift  Water. 

Aliens  Creek, 

O'-at-ka,  G.                    The  Opening. 

Black  Creek, 

Ja-go-o-geh,  G.              Place    of    Hearing.      (This    is 



Ya'-go-o-geh,                 Place  of  Hearing. 


Deo-on'-go-wa,               The  Great  Hearing  Place. 


Te-car'-da-na-duk,        Place  of  Many  Trenches. 


Ga'-swa-dak,                   By  the  Cedar  Swamp. 


Gau'-dak,                       By  the  Plains. 

Pine  Hill, 

Te-ca'-so-a-a,                 Pine  lying  up. 



nun-do-deh,                The  Red  Village. 


Da-o'-sa-no-geh,             Place  without  a  Name. 


Te-car'-ese-ta-ne-ont,    Place  with  a  Sign-post, 









On  the  Road. 

Le  Roy, 

Te-car'-no-wun-na-da'-ne-o,      Many  Rapids. 



Place  of  Turkeys. 

Silver  Lake, 

Ga-na'-yat,  T. 

Signification  lost. 

Silver  Lake  Outlets, 

Ga-na'-yat,  G. 

Signification  lost. 

Caneadea  Creek, 

Ga-o'-ya-de-o,  G. 

Same  as  Caneadea. 



On  the  Side  of  the  Valley. 

Tonawanda  Village, 


Swift  Water. 



Bank  in  Front. 


Genesee  River, 

Gen-nis'-he-yo,  G. 

The  Beautiful  Valley. 

Wiskoy  Creek, 

O-wa-is'-ki,  G. 

Under  the  Banks. 

Black  Creek, 

Ja-go'-yo-geh,  G. 

Hearing  Place. 



Head  of  the  Stream. 



Where      the      Heavens     lean 

against  the  Earth. 

Caneadea  Creek, 

Ga-o'-ya-de-o,  G. 

Where  the  Heavens  rest  upon 

the  Earth. 






Under  the  Banks. 



Under  the  Banks. 


Caneseraga  Creek, 

Ga-nus'-ga-go,  G. 

Among  the  Milkweed. 

Conesus  Lake, 

Ga-ne-a'-sos,  T. 

Place  of  Nanny-Berries. 

Conesus  Outlet, 

Ga-ne-a'-sos,  G. 

Place  of  Nanny-Berries. 

Hemlock  Lake, 

O-neh'-da,  T. 

The  Hemlock. 

Hemlock  Outlet, 

O-neh'-da,  G. 

The  Hemlock. 



Trees  burned. 

Mount  Morris, 

So-no'-  j  o-wau-ga, 

Big  Kettle.     (Residence  of  a 

Seneca  Chief.) 



Among  the  Milkweed. 



The  Spring. 



Once  a  Long  Creek. 



Fetid  Waters. 



Cold  Water. 



Where  Hemlock  was  spilled. 

Squawkie  Hill, 


Where  the  River  issues  from 

the  Hills. 

Site  of  Moscow, 


Where  Hemlock  was  spilled. 

Little  Beard's  Town, 


Where  the  Hill  is  near. 

Big  Tree  Village, 


A  Big  Tree. 

Tuscarora  Village, 


Crowding  the  Bank. 



Fetid  Waters. 

Site  of  Dansville, 


Among  the   Milkweed. 

Near  Livonia, 


The  Spring. 

Site  of  Mount  Morris, 


Big  Kettle. 







Irondequoit  Bay, 


A  Bay. 

Salmon  Creek, 

Ga'-doke-na,  G. 

Place  of  Minnows. 

Sandy  Creek, 

O-neh'-chi-gSh,  G. 

Long  ago. 

Honeoye  Creek, 

Ha'-ne-a-yeh,  G. 

Finger  Lying. 



At  the  Falls. 




Red  Village. 



The  Opening.   (Same  as  Allen's 


Honeoye  Falls, 


Falls  rebounding  from  an  ob- 


Ontario  Trail, 

Ne-a'-ga  Wa-a-gwen-ne-yu,     Ontario  Footpath. 

Indian  Village  at  the 




A  bended  Creek. 


Oak  Orchard  Creek, 

Da-ge-a'-no-ga-unt,  G. 

Two  Sticks  coming  together. 

Johnson's  Creek, 

A-jo'-yok-ta,  G. 

Fishing  Creek. 


Date-ge-a'-de-ha-na-geh,  G.  Two  Creeks  near  together. 

Tuscarora  Creek, 
East  Branch, 

t  Te-car'-na-ga-ge,  G. 

Black  Creek. 

Tuscarora  Creek 
West  Branch, 

>•  De-yo'-wuh-yeh,  G. 

Among  the  Reeds. 



Place  where  Boats  were  burned. 



One  Stream  crossing  another. 

(Aqueduct  on  Canal.) 



Place  with  a  Sign-Post. 



The  Spring.    (Referring  to  the 

Cold  Spring.) 

Royalton  Center, 


Place  of  the  Butternut. 



On  the  Mountains. 



Supposed    from    O-ne'-ah,    A 


Golden  Creek, 

Hate-keh'-neet-ga-on-da,  G.    Signification  lost. 

Niagara  River, 

Ne-ah'-ga,  G. 

Same  as  Youngstown. 

Lake  Ontario, 

Ne-ah'-ga,  T. 

Same  as  Youngstown. 

The  word  Ontario, 

Ska-no'  -da-ri-o,  T. 

The  "Beautiful  Lake."    (This 

is  a  Mohawk  word,  and  On- 

tario is  a  derivative.) 

Niagara  Falls, 


The  Highest  Falls. 

Niagara  Village, 


The  Highest  Falls. 

Tuscarora  Indian  Vil 

.   Ga'-a-no-geh, 

On  the  Mountains. 

Seneca  Indian  Vil. 


Taking  Canoe  out.    (Carrying 

place     at     the     mouth     of 

Tonawanda  Creek.) 







Mud  Creek, 

Ga'-na-gweh,  G. 

Same  as  Palmyra. 

Flint  Creek, 

Ah-ta'-gweh-da-ga,  G 




A  Place  selected  for  a  Settle- 

Canandaigua  Outlet, 

Ga'-nun-d2.-gwa,  G. 

A  Place  selected  for  a  Settle- 

ment,                              [ment. 

Canandaigua  Lake, 

Ga'-nun-da-gwa.  T. 

A  Place  selected  for  a  Settle- 

Hemlock  Outlet, 

O-neh'-da,  G. 


Honeoye  Lake, 

Ha'-ne-a-yeh,  T. 

Finger  Lying. 

Skaneatice  Lake, 

Ska'-ne-a-dice,  T. 

Long  Lake. 

Sodus  Bay, 

Se-o-dose'  (Seneca) 
Ah-slo-dose  (Oneida) 

r  Signification  lost. 

Little  Sodus  Bay, 


Two   Baby   Frames.      (From 

Ga-ose'-ha,   Baby  Frame.) 



A  Village  suddenly  sprung  up. 



New  Settlement  Village. 

Seneca  Lake, 

Ga-nun'-da-sa-ga,  T. 

New  Settlement  Village. 

West  Bloomfield, 


Village  on  the  top  of  a  Hill. 



In  the  Basswood   Country. 



Great  Hill. 

Near  Geneva, 


New  Settlement  Village. 



Place  selected  for  a  settlement. 

Near  Naples, 


Great  Hill. 


Crooked  Lake, 

O-go'-ya-ga,  T. 

Promontory  projecting  into  the 

Lake.                             [Lake. 

Crooked  Lake  Outlet, 

O-go'-ya-ga,  G. 

Promontory  projecting  into  the 

Conhocton  River, 

Ga-ha-to,  G. 

A  Log  in  the  Water. 

Chemung  River, 

Ga-ha'-to,  G. 

A  Log  in  the  Water. 

Canisteo  River, 

Te-car'-nase  te-o,  G. 

Board  on  the  Water. 



Opening  in  an  Opening. 

Painted  Post, 


A  Board  Sign. 



Great  Plain. 




Tioga  Point, 
Cayuga  Lake, 
Cayuga  Bridge, 

Gwe-u'-gweh,  T. 

At  the  Forks. 

At  the  Head  of  the  Lake. 

Lake  at  the   Mucky  Land. 

Constant  Dawn. 

Oil  floating  on  the  Water. 

A  Long  Bridge. 




Rowland's  Island, 
Seneca  River, 

Clyde  River, 


Swa'-geh,  G. 

Ga-na'-gweh,  G. 

Otter  Lake, 
Muskrat  Creek, 
Owasco  Outlet, 
Owasco  Lake, 
North  Sterling  Creek, 
Sodus  Bay  Creek, 
Site  of  Canoga, 
Site  of  Union  Springs, 
Above  Lockwood's 
Site  of  Ithaca, 

Was'  -co, 
Squa-yen'-na,  T. 
Squa-yen'-na,  G. 
De-a-go'-ga-ya,  G. 
Dwas'-co,  T. 
Dats-ka'-he,  G. 



Place  of  Salt. 

Great  Island. 

Place  of  Whortleberries. 

Flowing    out.      (Some    doubt 

about  the  signification.) 
River   at   a  Village   suddenly 

sprung  up. 
Floating  Bridge. 
A  Great  Way  up. 
A  Great  Way  up. 
Place  where  Men  were  killed. 
Lake  at  the  Floating  Bridge. 
Hard  Talking. 

G.     A  Child  in  a  Baby  Frame. 
Oil  on  the  Water. 
Promontory  running  out. 

Inclined  downward. 

At  the  End  of  the  Lake. 



Susquehanna  River, 


Owego  Creek, 



Owasco  Inlet, 
Tionghinoga  River, 


Ga'-wa-no-wa'-na-neh,  G.    Great  Island  River. 
Ah-wa'-ga,  Where  the  Valley  widens. 

Where  the  Valley  widens. 

Shagbark  Hickory. 

Ah-wa'-ga,  G, 




Ka'-na-ka'-ge,  G. 
O-nan'-no-gi-is'-ka,  G. 

Place  of  the  Silver  Smith. 
Black  Water. 

Shagbark  Hickory. 


Tully  Lake, 


T.  A  Lake  on  a  Hill. 



A  Lake  on  a  Hill. 



Long  Hickory. 

Skaneateles  Lake, 

Skan-e-a'-dice,  T. 

Long  Lake. 



Long  Lake. 

Otisco  Lake, 

Ga-ah'-na,  T. 

Rising    to    the    Surface, 


again  sinking.     Legend 

of  a 

drowning  man. 




Otisco  Outlet, 

Ga-ah'-na,  G. 




Tinned  Dome. 






Pompey  Hill, 


Wind  Mill. 



Place  of  Many  Ribs. 

Oil  Creek, 

De-o'-nake-ha'-e,  G. 

Oily  Water. 

Onondaga  Creek, 

O-nun-da'-ga,  G. 

On  the  Hills. 

Onondaga  West  Hill, 



A  Hammer  Hanging. 

Onondaga  Hollow, 


Turnpike  crossing  the  Valley. 



Bitternut  Hickory. 

Nine-Mile  Creek, 

Us-te'-ka,  G. 

Bitternut  Hickory. 



Apples  split  open. 



Skull  lying  on  a  shelf. 

Jordan  Creek, 

Ha-nan'-to,  G. 

Small  Hemlock  limbs  on  Water. 



Small  Hemlock  limbs  on  Water. 

Cross  Lake. 

U-neen'-do.  T. 

Hemlock  Tops  lying  on  Water. 

Fort  Brewerton, 


(Oneida  Dialect.)  Signification 


Oneida  Outlet, 

She-u'-ka,  G. 

Signification  lost. 



A  Great  Swamp. 

Liverpool  Creek, 

Tun-da-da'-qua,  G. 

Thrown  out. 

Onondaga  Lake, 

Ga-nun-ta'-ah,  T. 

Material  for  Council  Fire. 



Place  of  Salt. 



Pine  Tree  broken,   with  Top 

hanging  down. 

Jamesville  Creek, 

Ga-sun'-to,  G. 

Bark     in      the      Water. 



Bark  in  the  Water. 

Limestone  Creek, 

De-a-o'-no-he,  G. 

Where    the    Creek    suddenly 



Where    the    Creek    suddenly 


Deep  Spring, 

South  Onondaga, 

Christian  Hollow, 

Onondaga  Castle, 

Four  Miles  East  of 

Site  of  Onondaga  Hol- 
low, Gis-twe-ah'-na, 

Three  Miles  South  of 

Onondaga  Castle,  Nan-ta-sa'-sis, 

De-o'-sa-da-ya'-ah , 



Deep  Basin  Spring. 
A  Hollow. 
Never  Clean. 
Signification  lost. 

Hemlock  Knot  in  the  Water. 

A  Little  Man. 

Going  partly  round  a  Hill. 


Oswego,  Swa'-geh,  Flowing  out. 

New  Haven  Creek,  Ka-dis-ko'-na,  G.          Long  Marsh. 

Little  Salmon  Creek,  Ga-nun-ta-sko'-na,  G.  Large  Bark. 

Grindstone  Creek,  He-ah-ha'-whe,  G.         Apples  in  Crotch  of  Tree. 

Big  Salmon  Creek,  Ga-hsn-wa'-ga,  G.         A  Creek. 

Pulaski.  Ga-hen-wa'-ga,  A  Creek. 

Sandy  Creek,  Te-ka'-da-o-ga'-he,  G.  Sloping  Banks. 




Grand  Island.  De-a'-wone-da-ga- 

han'-da.  Signification  lost. 

Sacketts  Harbor,  Ga-hu'-a-go-je-twa-da- 

a'-lote,  Fort  at  Mouth  of  Great  River. 



St.  Lawrence  River,  Ga-na-wa'-ga,  G.  The  Rapid  River. 

Black  Lake.  Che'-gwa-ga.  T.  In  the  Hip. 

Oswegatchie  River,  O'-swa-gatch,  G.  Signification  lost. 

Ogdensburgh.  O'-swa-gatch.  Signification  lost. 

Black  River,  Ka-hu-ah'-go,  G.  Great  or  Wide  River. 

Watertown,  Ka-hu-ah'-go,  Great  or  Wide  River. 

Beaver  River,  Ne-ha-sa'-ne,  G.  Crossing  on  a  Stick  of  Timber 

Deer  Creek,  Ga-ne'-ga-to'-do.  G.  Corn  Pounder. 

Moose  River  Te-ka'-hun-di-an'-do,  G.    Clearing  an  Opening. 

Otter  Creek,  Da-ween'-net,  G.  The  Otter. 

Indian  River,  O-je'-quack,  G.  Nut  River. 

Mohawk  River  above 

Herkimer.  Da-ya'-hoo-wa'-quat.  G.    Carrying  Place. 

Rome,  Da-ya'-hoo-wa'-quat,    Carrying  Place. 

Fish  Creek, 

Ta-ga'-soke.  G. 

Forked  like  a  Spear. 

Wood  Creek. 

Ka-ne-go'-dick,  G. 

Signification  lost. 

Oneida  Lake, 

Ga-no'^a-lo'-hale,  T. 

A  Head  on  a  Pole. 

Scribas  Creek. 

Ga-sote'-na,  G. 

High  Grass. 

Bay  Creek, 


wa,  G. 

Big  Morass. 

West     Canada     Creek 

and  Mohawk  River, 

Te-ah-o'-ge,  G. 

At  the  Forks. 

Trenton  Village, 


In  the  Bone. 

Trenton  Falls. 


Great  Falls. 



Around  the  Hill. 

Whitestown  Creek, 

Che-ga-quat'-ka,  G. 





Oriskany  Creek, 

Ole'-hisk.  G. 





Paris  Hill, 


Hills  shrunk  together. 



White  Field. 



A  Long  Swamp. 



Place  of  the  Fox. 

Vernon  Centre, 


Great  Hemlock. 

Oneida  Creek, 

Ga-no-a-lo'-hale,  G. 

Head  on  a  Pole. 



Pine  Forest. 




INDIAN  JJAME.                                  SIGNIFICATION. 

Nine-Mile  Creek, 

Te-ya-nun'-soke,  G.      A  Beech  Tree  standing  up. 


He-sta-yun'-twa,            Meaning  lost. 

Oneida  Dep6t, 

De-ose-la-ta'-gaat,         Where  the  Cars  go  fast. 

New  Hartford, 

Che-ga-quat'-ka,            Kidneys. 

Oneida  Castle, 

Ga-no-a-lo'-hale,            Head  on  a  Pole. 

Site  of  Camden, 

Ho-sta-yun'-twa,           Meaning  lost. 

On  Fish  Creek, 

Ta-ga'-soke,  G.              Forked  like  a  Spear. 

Near  Oneida  Castle, 

Ga-na'-doque,                Empty  Village. 



Ka-ne-to'-ta,                  Pine  Tree  standing  alone. 


Ska-wais'-la,                   A  Point  made  by  Bushes. 

Caneseraga  Creek, 

Ka-na'-so-wa'-ga,  G,     Several  Strings  of  Beads  with 

a  String  lying  across. 

Chittenango  Creek, 

Chu-de-naang',  G.         Where  the  Sun  shines  out. 


Chu-de-naang'.              Where  the  Sun  shines  out. 

Cazenovia  Lake, 

Ah-wa'-gee,  T.                Perch  Lake. 


Ah-wa'-gee,                     Perch  Lake. 



nose,                            Round  House. 

Unadilla  River, 

De-u-na'-di-lo,  G.          Place  of  Meeting. 

Chenango  River, 

O-che-nang,  G.               Bull  Thistles. 


Ga-na'-da-dele,              Steep  Hill. 


Ga-na'-so-wa'-di,           Signification  lost. 


So-de-ah'-lo-wa'-nake,  Thick-necked  Giant. 


O-che-nang',                   Bull  Thistles. 

Stockbridge  Indian  Vil. 

Ah-gote'-sa-ga-nage,     Meaning  lost. 




West  Canada  Creek, 

Te-uge'-ga,  G.               At  the  Forks. 

Mohawk  River, 

Te-uge'-ga,  G.                At  the  Forks. 


Te-uge'-ga,                     At  the  Forks. 

Little  Falls, 

Ta-la-que'-ga,                Small  Bushes. 

Fort  Plain, 

Twa-da-a-la-ha'-la,       Fort  on  a  Hill. 

Canajoharie  Creek, 

Ga-na-jo-hi'-e,  G.          Washing  the  Basin. 


Ga-na-jo-hi'-e,                Washing  the  Basin. 


Ko-la-ne'-ka,                  Indian  Superintendent. 


Ga-na-wa'-da,                On  the  Rapids. 

Fort  Hunter, 

Te-on-da-lo'-ga,             Two  Streams  coming  together. 

Schoharie  Creek, 

Sko-har'-le,  G.                Flood-wood. 


Sko-har'-le,                     Flood-wood. 

East  Canada  Creek, 

Te-car'-hu-har-lo'-da,  G.    Visible  over  the  Creek. 

Otsquago  Creek, 

O-squa'-go,  G.                Under  the  Bridge. 

Amsterdam  Creek, 

Ju-ta-la'-ga,  G.               Signification  lost. 

Garoga  Creek, 

Ga-ro'-ga,  G.                  Signification  losi. 

<    "o 








In  the  Head. 



Beyond  the  Openings. 

Hudson  River, 

Ska'-neh-ta'-de,  G. 

River  beyond  the  Openings. 

Cohoes  Falls, 


Shipwrecked  Canoe. 

Lake  Champlain, 

O-ne-a-da'-lote,  T. 

Signification     lost.         (Oneida 







Signification  lost. 

Lake  St.  Francis, 

Ga-na-sa-da'-ga,  T. 

Side  Hill.     (Oneida  dialect.) 

Salmon  River, 


ne,  G. 

Sturgeon  River.        '  ' 

St.  Regis  River, 

Ah-qua-sos'-ne,  G. 

Partridges  drumming. 

St.  Regis, 


Partridges  drumming. 

Racket  River. 

Ta'-na-wa'-deh,  G. 

Swift  Water. 


Otsego  Lake, 
Delaware  River, 
Cobus  Hill, 
New  York, 
Long  Island, 

Atlantic  Ocean, 
Upper    Mohawk 
Middle  Mohawk 
Lower    Mohawk 

Ote-sa'-ga,  T. 
Ska-hun-do'-wa,  G. 

O-jik'-ha  da-ge'-ga, 








Welland  River, 

Jo-no'-dok,  G. 

Grand  River, 

Swa'-geh,  G. 

Burlington  Bay, 








Brock's  Monument, 




Signification  lost. 

Signification  lost. 

In  the  Plains. 

Meaning  lost. 

Meaning  lost. 

A     Long     Island.         (Oneida 

Salt  Water. 

Possessor  of  the  Flint. 

Washing  the  Basin. 

Two  Streams  coming  together. 

Two  Forts  Contiguous. 

Almost  broken. 

Fort  in  the  Water. 

Signification  lost. 

Flowing  out. 

Where  the  Sand  forms  a  Bar. 

Where  the  Mountain  dies  in 

the  River. 
See  above. 
Log  floating  upon  the  Water. 

Signification  lost. 


Cornplanter's  Village, 

Gus-ha'-wa-ga,  On  the  Body. 

De-o-no'-sa-da-ga,         Burned  Houses. 

274  LIFE 


Bibliography  of  The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison. — All  editions 
consecutively  numbered. — Copies  of  title-pages. — Simi- 
larities and  differences  of  various  editions. — Principal 
details  in  tabular  form. — Editions  in  six  important 

THE  "Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  is  undoubtedly  the 
most  interesting  book  descriptive  of  Indian  life  in 
western  New  York  that  has  ever  been  written.  Its 
hold  on  the  popular  imagination  is  sufficiently  at- 
tested by  the  fact  that  after  a  lapse  of  nearly  a 
century  since  its  first  appearance,  and  after  the 
printing  of  no  less  than  nineteen  editions  in  the 
United  States  and  England,  it  is  still  in  such  demand 
as  now  to  require  a  new  edition.  No  doubt  the  gift 
of  Letchworth  Park  to  the  State  of  New  York  in  1907 
and  the  increased  number  of  visitors  to  Mary  Jemi- 
son's  burial-place  have  increased  public  interest  in  her 
personal  history;  but  quite  apart  from  this  recent 
stimulus,  the  book  has  had  a  vitality  which  the  au- 
thor of  many  another  more  pretentious  work  might 
envy,  and  its  appeal  will  remain  strong  as  long  as 
there  is  admiration  for  personal  courage  and  fortitude, 
sympathy  for  human  suffering,  and  interest  in  the 
dramatic  history  of  the  period  in  which  Mary  Jemison 


More  or  less  complete  bibliographies  of  this  work 
have  hitherto  been  printed  as  follows:  by  the  late 
William  H.  Samson  in  the  Rochester  (N.  Y.)  Post- 
Express  of  November  26,  1898;  by  Mr.  Frank  H. 
Severance  in  Volume  VII  of  the  Publications  of  the 
Buffalo  Historical  Society,  1904;  by  Mr.  Samson  in 
the  Rochester  Post-Express  of  September  19,  1910; 
by  the  Edward  E.  Ayer  Collection  of  the  Newberry 
Library,  Chicago,  in  1912;  and  by  Mr.  Elmer  Adler 
in  the  Rochester  Post-Express  of  June  25,  1914.  In 
the  preparation  of  this  chapter  the  writer  has  had 
the  helpful  co-operation  of  Messrs.  Samson,  Sever- 
ance, and  Adler,  and  Miss  Clara  A.  Smith,  curator  of 
the  Ayer  Collection. 

As  previous  editions  of  this  book  published  under 
divers  auspices  have  not  been  numbered  systematic- 
ally, the  Reviser  of  the  edition  of  1918  has  deemed 
it  desirable  to  establish  a  consecutive  enumeration. 
Following  the  best  usage  of  publishers,  therefore,  he 
has  designated  the  1918  edition  as  the  twentieth, 
and  given  its  predecessors  their  relative  serial  num- 
bers. The  relation  of  the  new  numbers  to  the  old 
will  appear  in  the  table  at  the  end  of  the  chapter. 

Following  are  copies  of  the  title-pages  of  the 
various  editions  with  some  additional  data  concerning 
each.  As  whole  lines  of  some  of  the  original  title- 
pages  are  in  capital  letters,  no  attempt  has  been 
made  here  to  imitate  the  capitalization  of  such  lines 
or  their  typographical  display.  The  sizes  given  are 
those  of  the  paper  page,  to  the  nearest  eighth  of  an 
inch.  The  number  of  pages  does  not  include  adver- 
tisements bound  in  the  back  of  the  book.  The  num- 
ber of  illustrations  includes  both  engravings  printed 
with  the  text  and  inserted  plates. 

276  LIFE  OF 

First  Edition,  Canandaigua,  1824.. 

(3$  by  s|  inches.     189  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison,  Who  was  taken 
by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755,  when  only  about  twelve  years  of 
age,  and  has  continued  to  reside  amongst  them  to  the  present  time. 
Containing  An  Account  of  the  Murder  of  her  Father  and  his  Family; 
her  sufferings;  her  marriage  to  two  Indians;  her  troubles  with  her 
Children;  barbarities  of  the  Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolu- 
tionary Wars;  the  life  of  her  last  Husband,  &c.;  and  many  His- 
torical Facts  never  before  published.  Carefully  taken  from  her 
own  words,  Nov.  29th,  1823.  To  which  is  added,  An  Appendix, 
containing  an  account  of  the  tragedy  at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763, 
and  of  Sullivan's  Expedition;  the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs, 
&c.  of  the  Indians,  as  believed  and  practised  at  the  present  day, 
and  since  Mrs.  Jemison's  captivity;  together  with  some  Anecdotes, 
and  other  entertaining  matter.  By  James  E.  Seaver.  Canan- 
daigua:  Printed  by  J.  D.  Bemis  and  Co.  1824." 

The  circumstances  of  the  publication  of  the  first 
edition  are  stated  in  its  original  Preface  and  Introduc- 
tion reproduced  on  pages  iii-xv  preceding.  Bio- 
graphical facts  concerning  Dr.  Seaver  are  given  in 
the  Foreword  and  in  note  No.  I  in  Part  III,  and  con- 
cerning Mr.  Bemis  in  note  No.  6.  Copies  of  this 
edition  are  extremely  rare.  The  "Catalogue  of 
Americana"  issued  by  a  Philadelphia,  Penn.,  firm  in 
November,  1917,  offered  a  copy  in  original  half-leather 
binding  in  a  blue  morocco  slip  case  for  $187.50.  An- 
other copy,  in  not  such  good  condition,  was  sold  at 
auction  March  I,  1917,  for  $205.  Mr.  Elmer  Adler 
of  Rochester,  N.  Y.,  who  has  made  a  census  of  the 
various  editions  of  this  book,  has  been  able  to  locate 
only  sixteen  copies  of  the  first  edition.  Mr.  Adler  is 
of  the  opinion  that  the  size  of  the  edition  was  about 
500  copies.  His  exceptionally  perfect  copy  bears  the 
price-mark,  written  in  pencil,  37^c.;  and  an  inscrip- 
tion in  ink,  obviously  written  at  the  time  of  the  pur- 
chase, as  follows:  "William  Baker's  Book,  Price 


$0.34,  Purchased  March  i,  1826  of  Bemis,Canandgua" 
(spelling  as  noted).  The  original  price,  no  doubt,  was 
three  American  shillings  of  the  day,  and  William 
Baker  apparently  got  a  reduction  of  3^  cents. 

Second  Edition,  Howden,  1826. 

(3 1  by  6  inches.     180  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison,  Who  was  taken 
by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755,  When  only  about  twelve  years  of 
age,  and  has  continued  to  reside  amongst  them  to  the  present  time. 
Containing  an  account  of  the  murder  of  her  father  and  his  family; 
her  sufferings;  her  marriage  to  two  Indians;  her  troubles  with 
her  children;  Barbarities  of  the  Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolu- 
tionary Wars;  the  life  of  her  last  husband;  And  many  Historical 
Facts  never  before  published.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own 
words,  Nov.  29th,  1823.  To  which  is  added,  An  Appendix,  Con- 
taining an  Account  of  the  Tragedy  at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763, 
and  of  Sullivan's  Expedition;  the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs, 
&c.,  of  the  Indians,  as  believed  and  practised  at  the  present  day, 
and  since  Mrs.  Jemison's  Captivity;  together  with  some  Anecdotes, 
and  other  entertaining  Matter.  By  James  E.  Seaver.  Howden: 
Printed  for  R.  Parkin:  Sold  by  T.  Tegg,  73,  Cheapside,  London; 
Wilson  and  Sons,  York;  J.  Noble,  Hull;  W.  Walker,  Otley;  and 
by  every  other  bookseller.  1826." 

This  edition  is  identical  with  that  printed  at 
Canandaigua  in  1824,  except  that  the  publisher's 
imprint  on  the  title-page  is  different  and  the  date, 
"Pembroke,  March  I,  1824,"  is  omitted  from  the 
author's  preface.  An  imprint  on  the  last  page  states 
that  it  was  printed  by  W.  Walker  at  Otley.  The 
edition  appears  to  have  been  due  to  the  enterprise 
of  Mr.  Parkin,  who  lived  at  Howden,  Eng.,  appar- 
ently only  a  country-seat. 

Third  Edition,  London,  1827. 

(si  by  si  inches.     180  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison,  Who  was  taken 
by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755,  When  only  about  twelve  years  of 

278  LIFE  OF 

age,  and  has  continued  to  reside  amongst  them  to  the  present  time. 
Containing  an  account  of  the  murder  of  her  father  and  his  family; 
her  sufferings;  her  marriage  to  two  Indians;  her  troubles  with  her 
children;  Barbarities  of  the  Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolu- 
tionary Wars;  the  life  of  her  last  husband;  And  many  Historical 
Facts  never  before  published.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own 
words,  Nov.  29th,  1823.  To  which  is  added,  An  Appendix,  Con- 
taining an  Account  of  the  Tragedy  at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763, 
and  of  Sullivan's  Expedition;  the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs, 
&c.,  of  the  Indians,  as  believed  and  practised  at  the  present  day, 
and  since  Mrs.  Jemison's  Captivity;  together  with  some  Anec- 
dotes, and  other  entertaining  Matter.  By  James  E.  Seaver. 
London:  Printed  for  Longman,  Rees,  Orme,  Brown,  and  Green, 
Pater-Noster-Row;  and  T.  and  J.  Allman,  Great  Queen-street. 

The  text  of  this  edition  is  the  same  as  that  of  the 
1826  edition — being  a  reproduction  of  Seaver's 
original — except  that  the  publisher's  imprint  on  the 
title-page  has  been  changed.  An  imprint  on  the 
verso  of  the  title-page  shows  that  this  edition  was 
"Printed  by  W.  Walker,  Otley." 

Fourth  Edition,  Buffalo,  1834- 

(4!  by  ?1  inches.     36  pages.) 

"The  Interesting  Narrative  of  Mary  Jemison,  who  lived  nearly 
seventy-eight  years  among  the  Indians." 

The  fourth,  fifth,  and  sixth  editions  were  pamphlets, 
the  fourth  having  no  cover,  and  the  fifth  and  sixth 
having  paper  covers.  These  three  editions  form  the 
rarest  group  of  all,  the  sixth  being  the  rarest  of  the 
three.  Most  of  the  known  copies  are  imperfect. 
The  copy  of  the  fourth  edition  in  the  Buffalo  His- 
torical Society,  examined  by  the  editor  of  this  chapter, 
has  no  title-page,  but  simply  the  heading  above 
quoted  which  appears  at  the  top  of  the  first  page. 
As  the  pagination  begins  with  page  I,  it  is  inferred 
that  there  was  no  title-page.  The  narrative  is  much 


abbreviated  from  Seaver's  original.  About  half  a 
page  is  added  on  page  36  by  the  Rev.  Asher  Wright, 
the  missionary  to  the  Senecas  at  Buffalo  Creek,  about 
Mary  Jemison's  removal  from  Gardeau  to  the  Buf- 
falo Creek  Reservation,  her  conversion  to  Christianity, 
and  her  death  and  burial  "in  September,  1833." 
The  date  of  publication,  1834,  is  conjectural.  The 
place  of  publication  is  inferred  from  the  wording  of 
Mr.  Wright's  statement  that  Mary  Jemison's  "re- 
mains rest  in  the  grave-yard  near  the  Seneca  Mission 
Church."  If  this  had  been  printed  elsewhere  than 
in  Buffalo,  it  is  believed  that  Buffalo  would  have  been 
mentioned  in  connection  with  this  statement. 

Fifth  Edition,  Rochester,  184.0. 

(si  by  8  inches.     36  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison,  Who  was  taken 
by  a  party  of  French  and  Indians  at  Marsh  Creek,  in  Pennsyl- 
vania, in  the  year  1755,  and  carried  down  the  Ohio  River  when 
only  12  years  of  age,  and  who  continued  to  reside  with  the  Indians 
and  follow  their  manner  of  living  78  years,  until  the  time  of  her 
death,  which  took  place  at  the  Seneca  Reservation,  near  Buffalo, 
N.  Y.,  in  1833  at  the  advanced  age  of  90  years.  Containing  An 
account  of  the  Murder  of  her  Father's  Family,  who  were  taken 
captives  at  the  same  time  with  herself,  but  who  were  Tomahawked 
and  Scalped  the  second  night  of  their  captivity;  her  Marriage  to 
two  Indian  Chiefs,  with  whom  she  lived  many  years,  and  both 
of  whom  she  followed  to  the  grave.  (Woodcut)  To  which  is 
added  An  account  of  her  conversion  to  the  Christian  Religion  a 
few  months  before  her  death: — Her  ideas  of  the  Christian  Religion 
and  views  of  herself  previous  to  her  conversion,  as  related  by  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Wright,  Minister  at  the  Seneca  Reservation,  where  she 
died.  Rochester:  Printed  by  Miller  &  Butterfield.  1840." 

This  is  a  pamphlet  with  paper  cover  in  addition 
to  the  36  pages  of  text.  The  text  is  a  reprint  of  the 
abridged  edition  of  1834.  A  crude  woodcut  in  the 
title-page  represents  a  fight  between  a  white  man  in 

280  LIFE  OF 

a  swallow-tailed  coat  and  two  Indians  around  a  camp- 
fire.  Following  the  title-page  is  a  folding  woodcut 
giving  a  "correct  view  of  her  father's  family  after 
their  captivity  by  the  Indians,  and  when  leaving 
their  home,"  etc.  The  last  page  is  occupied  by  a 
woodcut  of  "Hiokatoo,  Mrs.  Jemison's  second  hus- 
band, as  he  appeared  when  attired  in  his  war  dress." 
Mark  Miller,  who,  with  Butterfield,  published  this 
unique  edition,  was  an  engraver  and  may  personally 
have  cut  the  three  wood  blocks  which  are  used  to 
illustrate  it.  These  three  quaint  woodcuts  are  re- 
produced in  the  present  edition. 

Sixth  Edition,  Utica,  184.2. 

(Si  by  7|  inches.     32  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison,  Who  was  taken 
by  a  party  of  French  and  Indians  at  Marsh  Creek  in  Pennsylvania, 
in  the  year  1755,  and  carried  down  the  Ohio  River,  when  only 
12  years  of  age,  and  who  continued  to  reside  with  the  Indians  and 
follow  their  manner  of  living  78  years,  until  the  time  of  her  death, 
which  took  place  at  the  Seneca  Reservation,  near  Buffalo,  N.  Y., 
in  1833,  at  the  advanced  age  of  90  years.  Containing  An  account 
of  the  Murder  of  her  Father's  Family,  who  were  taken  captives 
at  the  same  time  with  herself,  but  who  were  Tomahawked  and 
Scalped  the  second  night  of  their  captivity;  her  marriage  to  two 
Indian  Chiefs,  with  whom  she  lived  many  years,  and  both  of 
whom  she  followed  to  the  grave.  (Woodcut)  To  which  is  added 
An  account  of  her  conversion  to  the  Christian  Religion  a  few 
months  before  her  death — Her  ideas  of  the  Christian  Religion, 
and  views  of  herself  previous  to  her  conversion,  as  related  by  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Wright,  Minister  at  the  Seneca  Reservation,  where  she 
died.  Utica,  Published  by  G.  Cunningham.  1842.  Woodland 
&  Donaldson,  Printers,  Utica." 

This  is  the  rarest  of  all  editions.  It  is  a  pamphlet 
with  paper  cover  in  addition  to  the  32  pages  of  text. 
This  is  the  same  text  as  the  1840  edition,  and  the 
same  remarks  about  illustrations  apply  to  both.  The 

>.    £ 

2  .g 


55     bo 
W     c 

o  a 

U!    O 


difference  between  the  two  editions  is  eloquently 
expressed  in  a  pencil  note  in  the  copy  of  the  1842 
edition  in  the  New  York  Public  Library  which  says: 
"A  most  horrid  edition  of  this  book  was  printed  at 
Rochester,  N.  York  in  1840.  It  was  of  this  same  form, 
&  nearly  page  for  page  with  this,  but  chock  full  of 
typographical  blunders." 

Seventh  Edition,  Otley,  184.2. 

(3  by  4f  inches.     192  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mrs.  Mary  Jemison,  who  was  taken 
by  the  Indians,  in  the  year  1755,  when  only  about  twelve  years  of 
age,  and  has  continued  to  reside  amongst  them  to  the  present  time. 
Containing  an  Account  of  the  murder  of  her  father  and  his  family; 
her  sufferings;  her  marriage  to  two  Indians;  her  troubles  with  her 
children;  barbarities  of  the  Indians  in  the  French  and  Revolu- 
tionary wars;  the  life  of  her  last  husband;  and  many  Historical 
facts  never  before  published.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own  words, 
Nov.  29th,  1823.  To  which  is  added,  an  Appendix,  Containing 
an  Account  of  the  Tragedy  at  the  Devil's  Hole,  in  1763,  and  of 
Sullivan's  Expedition;  the  Traditions,  Manners,  Customs,  &c.  of 
the  Indians,  as  believed  and  practised  at  the  present  day,  and 
since  Mrs.  Jemison's  captivity;  together  with  some  Anecdotes, 
and  other  entertaining  matter.  By  James  E.  Seaver.  Otley: 
Printed  by  William  Walker.  Sold  by  all  booksellers.  i%±2." 

The  text  is  the  same  as  that  of  the  Howden  edition 
of  1826,  except  that  it  has  been  expanded  by  the 
addition  of  twelve  pages  entitled  "Remarks  concern- 
ing the  Savages  of  North  America"  and  "Fortitude 
of  the  Indian  character."  It  has  one  illustration,  a 

Eighth  Edition,  Batavia,  1842. 

(3s  by  5 1  inches.     192  pages.) 

"Deh-he-wa-mis:    or  a  narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison: 
otherwise  called  the  White  Woman,  who  was  taken  captive  by  the 

282  LIFE  OF 

Indians  in  MDCCLV;  and  who  continued  with  them  seventy  eight 
years.  Containing  an  account  of  the^murder  of  her  father  and  his 
family;  her  marriages  and  sufferings;  Indian  barbarities,  customs 
and  traditions.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own  words  By  James 
E.  Seaver.  Also  the  life  of  Hiokatoo,  and  Ebenezer  Allen;  a 
sketch  of  General  Sullivan's  campaign;  tragedy  of  the  "Devils 
Hole,"  etc.  The  whole  revised,  corrected  and  enlarged:  with 
descriptive  and  historical  sketches  of  the  Six  Nations,  the  Genesee 
country,  and  other  interesting  facts  connected  with  the  narrative: 
By  Ebenezer  Mix,  Batavia,  N.  Y.  Published  by  William  Seaver 
T  l&tf  Son,  1842.'* 

of  the  first  edition  having  died,  his 
William  Seaver  and  the  latter' s  son  succeeded 
wnership  of  the  book;  and,  bringing  to  their 
aioTEbenezer  Mix  as  editor,  they  published  this  re- 
vised edition.  Words,  phrases,  and  the  spelling  of 
many  proper  names  are  changed;  supposed  gram- 
matical errors  corrected;  the  order  of  arrangement 
altered;  new  matter  interpolated  and  added;  and 
some  features  of  the  original,  especially  appendices, 
omitted.  The  principal  additions  are  a  new  Pub- 
lisher's Notice;  Chapter  V,  dealing  with  geography 
and  Indian  names;  Chapter  XVIII,  continuing  the 
history  of  Mary  Jemison's  life  and  referring  to  her 
removal  to  Buffalo,  her  sickness,  her  death,  etc.; 
Chapter  XIX,  comparing  the  condition  of  western 
New  York  as  it  then  existed  with  its  former  condition; 
and  Chapter  XX  concerning  the  history  of  the  Six 
Nations.  The  appendices  consist  of  "The  Tragedy  of 
the  Devil's  Hole  "(rewritten),  "General  Sullivan's  Ex- 
pedition to  Western  New  York"  (rewritten),  and  "Re- 
moval of  the  Remains  of  Boyd."  As  an  example  of 
a  change  in  phraseology  may  be  mentioned  the  last 
clause  of  the  last  sentence  of  the  original  Preface 
(page  vi  ante).  Dr.  Seaver,  evidently  echoing  one 
of  the  finest  phrases  of  the  Epistle  to  the  Hebrews 


(XII,  2),  speaks  of  "gratitude  to  the  great  Author 
and  finisher  of  our  happiness."177  Mr.  Mix  changes 
this  to  read  "gratitude  to  the  great  Author  and 
sustainer  of  the  sources  of  all  our  happiness."  Mr. 
Mix  prefixes  "Deh-he-wa-mis"  to  the  title-page  and 
uses  it  in  the  running  tittes  to  the  pages  throughout 
the  book.  His  changes,  while  not  always  improve- 
ments, on  the  whole  added  to  the  value  of  the  book 
as  a  source  of  information. 

Ninth  Edition,  Batavia,  1842. 

(3 1  by  5  s  inches.     192  pages.) 

"Deh-he-wa-mis:  or  a  narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison: 
otherwise  called  the  White  Woman,  who  was  taken  captive  by  the 
Indians  in  MDCCLV;  and  who  continued  with  them  seventy  eight 
years.  Containing  an  account  of  the  murder  of  her  father  and  his 
family;  her  marriages  and  sufferings;  Indian  barbarities,  customs 
and  traditions.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own  words  By  James 
E.  Seaver.  Also  the  life  of  Hiokatoo,  and  Ebenezer  Allen;  a  sketch 
of  General  Sullivan's  campaign;  tragedy  of  the  "Devils  Hole," 
etc.  The  whole  revised,  corrected  and  enlarged:  with  descriptive 
and  historical  sketches  of  the  Six  Nations,  the  Genesee  country, 
and  other  interesting  facts  connected  with  the  narrative:  By 
Ebenezer  Mix.  Second  Edition.  Batavia,  N.  Y.  Published  by 
William  Seaver  and  Son,  1842." 

This  is  identical  with  the  preceding  1842  edition 
printed  at  Batavia,  except  that  the  title-page  has 
been  lengthened  by  the  insertion  of  the  words  "Second 
Edition"  after  the  name  of  Ebenezer  Mix.  The  same 
slight  defects  in  the  type  of  both  editions  show  that 
they  were  printed  from  the  same  type.  That  this 
edition  was  printed  after  the  one  last  above  mentioned 
is  indicated  by  trifling  signs  of  wear  on  the  edges  of  the 
type  pages. 

284  LIFE  OF 

Tenth  Edition,  Batavia,  184.4.. 

(3i  by  6i  inches.     192  pages.) 

"Deh-he-wa-mis:  or  A  narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison: 
otherwise  called  the  White  Woman,  Who  was  taken  captive  by  the 
Indians  in  MDCCLV  and  who  continued  with  them  seventy  eight 
years  Containing  an  account  of  the  murder  of  her  father  and  his 
family,  her  marriages  and  sufferings,  Indian  barbarities  customs 
and  traditions.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own  words  by  James  E. 
Seaver.  Also  The  life  of  Hiokatoo,  and  Ebenezer  Allen;  A  sketch 
of  General  Sullivan's  Campaign;  Tragedy  of  the  "Devils  Hole," 
etc. — The  whole  revised,  corrected  and  enlarged;  with  descriptive 
and  historical  sketches  of  the  six  nations,  the  Genesee  country, 
and  other  interesting  facts  connected  with  the  narrative:  By 
Ebenezer  Mix.  Third  Edition.  Batavia,  N.  Y.  Published  by 
William  Seaver  and  Son,  1844" 

This  is  identical  with  the  edition  last  above  men- 
tioned, except  that  the  words  "Second  Edition"  on 
the  title-page  have  been  changed  to  "Third  Edition." 

Eleventh  Edition,  Devon  and  London,  184.7. 

(3 1  by  si  inches.     184  pages.) 

"Deh-he-wa-mis:  or  A  narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison: 
otherwise  called  the  White  Woman,  Who  was  taken  captive  by  the 
Indians  in  MDCCLV;  and  who  continued  with  them  seventy- 
eight  years.  Containing  an  account  of  the  murder  of  her  father 
and  his  family;  her  marriages  and  sufferings;  Indian  barbarities, 
customs  and  traditions.  Carefully  taken  from  her  own  words. 
By  James  E.  Seaver.  Also  the  life  of  Hiokatoo  and  Ebenezer 
Allen;  and  historical  sketches  of  the  Six  Nations,  the  Genesee 
country,  and  other  interesting  facts  connected  with  the  narrative: 
By  Ebenezer  Mix.  Devon,  Published  by  S.  Thome,  Prospect- 
place,  Shebbear.  London,  W.  Tegg,  73,  Cheapside.  1847." 

This  is  an  English  reprint  of  the  Batavia  edition 
of  1844  except  that  the  title-page  has  been  abbrevi- 
ated and  a  "Publisher's  Notice,"  dated  "Shebbear, 
July,  1847,"  added  on  another  page,  reading  as  fol- 
lows: "A  gentleman  who  has  resided  for  some  years 
in  the  neighbourhood  in  which  many  of  the  occur- 


rences  related  in  the  following  pages  took  place, 
having  lately  visited  this  country,  felt  an  interest  in 
their  publication  here;  and  having  obtained  a  number 
of  subscribers,  applied  to  the  publisher  to  undertake 
the  work.  His  request  was  complied  with,  and 
it  is  hoped  that  the  perusal  of  the  book  may  excite 
in  many  a  greater  detestation  of  the  horrors  of  war, 
and  a  spirit  of  revenge,  and  a  clearer  view  of  the 
necessity  of  an  adoption  of  the  gospel  of  Christ  to 
render  either  nations  or  individuals  truly  happy;  as 
well  as  give  a  correct  delineation  of  Indian  manners 
and  customs."  An  imprint  on  page  184  shows  that 
the  edition  was  printed  by  S.  Thorne.  Following 
page  184  of  the  text  is  an  advertising  list  of  books 
published  by  Bradbury  &  Evans. 

Twelfth  Edition,  New  York,  Auburn,  Rochester,  1856. 

(4!  by  7j  inches.     312  pages.) 

"Life  of  Mary  Jemison,  Deh-he-wa-mis.  By  James  E.  Seaver. 
Fourth  Edition,  with  geographical  and  explanatory  notes.  New 
York  and  Auburn:  Miller,  Orton  &  Mulligan.  Rochester:  D.  M. 
Dewey.  1856" 

The  text  of  this  edition  is  mainly  that  of  the 
Batavia  editions,  but  Lewis  Henry  Morgan,  LL.D., 
the  great  authority  on  Indian  matters  in  New  York 
State  and  author  of  "The  League  of  the  Iroquois," 
has  added  some  new  and  interesting  features.  A 
"Publisher's  Note"  of  three  pages  by  him  precedes 
Seaver's  original  introduction  and  he  has  inserted 
many  foot-notes  about  Indian  names  and  customs. 
He  has  also  added  as  Appendix  V  a  list  of  Indian 
geographical  names  in  the  State  of  New  York  taken 
from  his  "League  of  the  Iroquois"  and  has  inserted 
a  letter  from  Gen.  Ely  S.  Parker  (Do-ne-ho-ga-weh) 

286  LIFE  OF 

to  D.  M.  Dewey,  of  Rochester,  the  publisher,  express- 
ing pleasure  at  the  prospect  of  the  new  edition. 
Chapter  XIX  of  the  1842  Batavia  edition  concerning 
the  "present  state  of  New  York  compared  with  the 
former,"  etc.,  is  omitted,  and  Chapter  XX  of  the  1842 
edition  becomes  Chapter  XIX  of  the  1856  edition. 
The  book  is  embellished  by  five  woodcuts  by  Spiegel- 
Johnson,  largely  drawn  from  the  imagination,  repre- 
senting Mary  Jemison  "  relating  her  history  to  the 
author,"  " arrayed  in  Indian  costume,"  and  "in 
Indian  costume  at  the  age  of  sixteen";  "The  murder 
of  one  of  her  sons  by  his  "brother";  and  "Showing 
her  house  and  modern  improvements."  The  portrait 
of  Dr.  Seaver,  however,  is  regarded  by  his  descendants 
as  bearing  a  good  resemblance  to  the  author,  and  is 
reproduced  in  the  present  volume. 

Thirteenth  Edition,  New  York,  1859. 

(S   by  yj  inches.     312  pages.) 

"Life  of  Mary  Jemison:  Deh-he-wa-mis.  By  James  E.  Seaver. 
Fourth  Edition.  With  geographical  and  explanatory  notes.  New 
York:  C.  M.  Saxton,  25  Park  Row.  1859." 

This  edition  is  the  same  as  the  last  above  mentioned, 
except  that  the  dates  have  been  omitted  from  the 
"Publisher's  Note"  and  "Introduction." 

Fourteenth  Edition,  New  York,  1860- 

(4}  by  7 1  inches.     312  pages.) 

"Life  of  Mary  Jemison:  Deh-he-wa-mis.  By  James  E.  Seaver. 
Fourth  Edition.  With  geographical  and  explanatory  notes.  New 
York:  C.  M.  Saxton,  Barker  &  Co.,  No.  25  Park  Row.  1860" 

Like  the  edition  of  1859,  this  is  the  same  as  the 
edition  of  1856  with  the  omission  of  the  dates  from 


the  "Publisher's  Note"  and  "Introduction."     It  has 
the  same  {Illustrations. 

Fifteenth  Edition,  Buffalo,  1877. 

(4*  by  7f  inches.     303  pages.) 

"Life  of  Mary  Jemison:  Deh-he-wa-mis.  By  James  E.  Seaver. 
Fifth  Edition,  with  appendix.  Buffalo,  N.  Y.:  Printing  house  of 
Matthews  &  Warren,  Office  of  the  'Buffalo  Commercial  Adver- 
tiser.' 1877." 

This  edition  marks  the  change  of  ownership  of  the 
book  to  William  Pryor  Letchworth,  LL.D.,  who  re- 
sided at  Portage  Falls  on  the  large  estate  which  in 
1907  he  gave  to  the  State  of  New  York  and  which  is 
now  known  as  Letchworth  Park.  As  elsewhere 
stated  in  the  present  volume,  Mary  Jemison's  re- 
mains are  buried  in  Letchworth  Park.  New  features 
of  the  1877  edition  are  a  Preface  by  Dr.  Letchworth; 
an  account  of  a  visit  to  the  Cattaraugus  Reservation 
in  1873  by  William  C.  Bryant,  ex-president  of  the 
Buffalo  Historical  Society;  an  account  of  Mary 
Jemison's  last  hours  by  Mrs.  Asher  Wright;  an 
account,  by  Dr.  Letchworth,  of  the  removal  of  Mary 
Jemison's  remains  from  Buffalo  to  his  estate  at 
Portage  Falls  in  1874;  and  seventeen  new  engravings 
on  wood,  including  the  work  of  G.  A.  Avery,  Whitney 
and  Jocelyn,  Timothy  Cole  and  others.  Among  the 
illustrations  are  a  view  of  Gardeau  where  the  White 
Woman  resided,  portraits  of  some  of  her  descendants, 
and  engravings  of  Indian  wearing  apparel,  etc.,  from 
Morgan's  "League  of  the  Iroquois."  Among  the 
features  of  the  1842  Batavia  edition  omitted  from  the 
1877  edition  are  the  last  paragraph  of  the  "Pub- 
lisher's Note";  Chapter  XIX  on  the  "Confederacy 

288  LIFE  OF 

of  the  Iroquois,"  the  "Concluding  Note"  from  "The 
League  of  the  Iroquois,"  the  appendix  describing  the 
"Tragedy  of  the  Devil's  Hole,"  and  the  appendix 
describing  "The  Genesee  country  as  it  was  and  is." 

Sixteenth  Edition,  Buffalo,  1880. 

(4!  by  7 1  inches.     303  pages.) 

"Life  of  Mary  Jemison:  Deh-he-wa-mis.  By  James  E.  Seaver. 
Sixth  Edition,  with  appendix.  Buffalo,  N.  Y.  Printing  house  of 
Matthews  Bros.  &  Bryant,  Office  of  the  '  Buffalo  Morning  Express.' 

This  is  a  reprint  of  the  edition  of  1877,  the  only 
change  being  in  the  number  of  the  edition  on  the  title- 
page.  It  has  a  binding  of  cloth  on  paper  without 

Seventeenth   Edition,   New    York   and  London,   1898. 

(5  by  7 1  inches.     300  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison.  De-he-wa-mis.  The 
White  Woman  of  the  Genesee.  By  James  E.  Seaver.  Sixth 
Edition.  With  Geographical  and  Explanatory  Notes  and  Appen- 
dix. This  edition  also  includes  numerous  illustrations,  further 
particulars  of  the  history  of  De-he-wa-mis,  and  other  interesting 
matter  collected  and  arranged  by  Wrn.  Pryor  Letchworth.  G.  P. 
Putnam's  Sons.  New  York  &  London.  The  Knickerbocker  Press. 

This  is  substantially  the  same  as  the  1880  edition, 
but  the  title-page  has  been  changed;  Chapter  XXI, 
giving  additional  particulars  concerning  Mary  Jemi- 
son's  parentage,  etc.,  has  been  added;  and  the  follow- 
ing have  been  omitted:  The  note  to  the  fifth  edition 
signed  by  Dr.  Letchworth  and  dated  Glen  Iris, 
March,  1877;  the  "Publisher's  Note  to  the  Fourth 


Edition,"  dated  Rochester,  N.  Y.,  March,  1856;  the 
letter  from  Ely  S.  Parker  to  D.  M.  Dewey;  and 
Appendix  IV,  concerning  General  Sullivan's  expedi- 
tion. There  are  twenty-one  illustrations,  including 
the  seventeen  which  appeared  in  the  fifteenth  and 
sixteenth  editions.  The  new  ones  include  four  half- 
tones, as  follows:  A  drawing  by  Miss  Mildred  Green 
of  Buffalo,  representing  "Mary  Jemison  being  arrayed 
in  the  costume  of  a  Seneca  Indian  maiden"  (frontis- 
piece); a  portrait  of  Mrs.  Asher  Wright;  a  view  of 
Mary  Jemison's  grave,  and  one  of  the  old  Council 
House  near  Dr.  Letchworth's  residence.  This  is  the 
first  edition  containing  a  list  of  illustrations. 

Eighteenth  Edition,  New  York  and  London,  1910. 

(S  by  ?J  inches.     305  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison.  De-he-wa-mis. 
The  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee.  By  James  E.  Seaver.  Seventh 
Edition.  With  Geographical  and  Explanatory  Notes.  This  edi- 
tion also  includes  numerous  illustrations,  further  particulars  of 
the  history  of  De-he-wa-mis,  and  other  interesting  matter  collected 
and  arranged  by  Wm.  Pryor  Letchworth.  G.  P.  Putnam's  Sons. 
New  York  and  London.  The  Knickerbocker  Press.  1910." 

This  is  the  same  as  the  1898  edition  with  very  slight 
changes.  The  frontispiece  of  the  former  is  moved 
along  to  page  56  of  the  1910  edition,  giving  place  to  a 
half-tone  cut  from  a  photograph  of  the  statue  of 
Mary  Jemison.  This  makes  twenty-two  illustrations. 
The  number  of  the  edition  has  been  changed  on  the 
title-page;  the  last  four  lines  of  the  Preface  omitted 
and  the  date  of  the  Preface  changed  from  May  I, 
1898,  to  September  15,  1910;  and  a  supplement  of 
three  pages  about  the  statue  has  been  added. 

29o  LIFE  OF 

Nineteenth  Edition,  New  York  and  London,  1913. 

(5  J  by  75  inches.     305  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison.  De-he-wa-mis.  The 
White  Woman  of  the  Genesee.  By  James  E.  Seaver.  Seventh 
Edition.  With  Geographical  and  Explanatory  Notes.  This  edi- 
tion also  includes  numerous  illustrations,  further  particulars  of  the 
history  of  De-he-wa-mis,  and  other  interesting  matter  collected 
and  arranged  by  Wm.  Pryor  Letchworth.  G.  P.  Putnam's  Sons. 
New  York  and  London.  The  Knickerbocker  Press.  1913." 

Upon  the  death  of  Dr.  Letchworth  on  December  I, 
1910,  the  ownership  of  the  book  passed,  with  his 
residuary  estate,  to  the  American  Scenic  and  Historic 
Preservation  Society  which  by  law  is  custodian  of 
Letchworth  Park  for  the  State  of  New  York.  The 
1913  edition  is  a  reprint  of  the  edition  of  1910.  The 
only  difference  is  in  the  cover,  which  has  stamped 
upon  it  a  representation  of  the  statue  of  Mary  Jemison 
instead  of  the  Council  House. 

Twentieth  Edition,  New  York,  1918. 

(Si  by  8  inches.     475  pages.) 

"A  Narrative  of  The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison  The  White  Woman 
of  the  Genesee  by  James  Everett  Seaver,  M.  D.  Revised  by 
Charles  Delamater  Vail,  L.  H.  D.  Emeritus  Professor  of  English 
Literature  at  Hobart  College  Twentieth  Edition  Presenting  the 
First  Edition  literally  restored,  Together  with  chapters  added  to 
later  editions  by  Ebenezer  Mix,  Lewis  Henry  Morgan,  LL.  D., 
William  Clement  Bryant  and  William  Pryor  Letchworth,  LL.  D. 
Enlarged  with  historical  and  archaeological  memoranda  and  critical 
notes  by  modern  authorities  New  York  The  American  Scenic  & 
Historic  Preservation  Society  1918" 

In  this  edition  Seaver' s  original  text  is  restored 
verbatim  et  literatim  and  forms  Part  I.  The  principal 
additions  made  by  earlier  editors  have  been  repro- 
duced in  Part  II,  with  an  addition  by  Edward 
Hagaman  Hall  concerning  the  place  of  Mary  Jemi- 


son's  capture;  an  addition  by  the  Reviser  con- 
cerning the  erection  of  the  statue  of  Mary  Jemison; 
a  new  chapter  by  William  H.  Samson  concerning 
Mary  Jemison's  will,  and  a  new  chapter  by  the 
Reviser  giving  a  bibliography  of  this  book.  And  in 
Part  III  have  been  collated  the  notes  originally  ac- 
companying the  matter  contained  in  Part  II,  together 
with  new  memoranda  and  critical  notes  by  modern 
authorities  on  historical  and  archaeological  subjects. 
The  illustrations  include  the  most  interesting  ones  of 
former  editions  and  several  new  ones,  making  a 
total  of  forty-one.  The  whole  is  introduced  by  a 
Foreword  by  the  Reviser  and  is  followed  by  an 
alphabetical  index. 

This  edition  is  notable  in  several  respects.  Only 
four  of  the  preceding  nineteen  editions  have  presented 
the  narrative  as  Dr.  Seaver  wrote  it.  For  the  first 
time  since  the  Otley  edition  of  1842  it  is  now  pre- 
sented in  its  original  form.  The  voluminous  notes  by 
the  Reviser  throw  a  flood  of  light  on  both  the  original 
story  and  the  additional  chapters  by  other  editors. 
The  date  of  Mary  Jemison's  capture,  given  in  all 
previous  editions  erroneously  as  1755,  is  here  given 
authoritatively  as  1758.  This,  and  other  dates 
based  upon  it,  are  corrected  by  means  of  explications 
in  Part  III,  without  any  changes  in  Part  I.  The 
site  of  Mary  Jemison's  capture  is  for  the  first  time  in- 
dicated by  description  and  map  so  definitely  that  any 
one  interested  in  this  romantic  story  can  visit  the 
scene  of  its  opening  chapter  without  difficulty.  The 
alphabetical  index  is  a  feature  which  no  previous 
edition  has  contained. 

Following  is  a  tabulation  of  the  various  editions  of 
"The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  consecutively  numbered: 


















Reprint  of  is 

Reprint  of  is 


Same  as  4th 

Same  as  sth 

ist  with  addil 

ist  much  revi 


Same  as  8th 

Same  as  Sth 

8th  revised 



















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§  Miller  & 

S  3 

C  d 

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§  William 

t  William 

t  William 

t  William 


































































































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&  Warren  * 





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m  P 

stored  with 
ons  nd  re 




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Sons  * 

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«     « 







Historical,  geographical,  and  biographical  notes  on  the 
narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison. — Erroneous  dates 
in  the  original  corrected. — Indian  customs  explained  in 
the  light  of  modern  research. — Indian  place-names 
interpreted,  etc. 

IN  order  to  present  intact  Dr.  Seaver's  original 
narrative  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison  the  foot-notes 
which  accompanied  it  in  the  first  edition  have  been 
printed  in  Part  I  of  the  present  volume  exactly  where 
they  first  appeared. 

As  there  is  no  sentimental  or  good  literary  reason 
for  following  the  same  plan  with  respect  to  the  notes 
appended  by  subsequent  editors  both  to  the  original 
text  and  to  the  new  chapters  which  they  added  from 
time  to  time,  and  as  modern  research  has  thrown  a 
flood  of  light  on  many  phases  of  the  story,  requiring 
much  more  extended  comment,  the  Reviser  of  the 
edition  of  1918  has  deemed  it  wise  to  collate  in  Part 
III  of  the  present  volume  all  such  subsequent  foot- 
notes, together  with  the  new  notes  by  himself. 

In  order  that  there  may  be  no  confusion  of  author- 
ship, the  origin  of  each  of  the  following  notes  is  in- 
dicated by  the  name  Mix,  Morgan,  Letchworth,  or 
Reviser,  meaning  respectively  Ebenezer  Mix,  Lewis 
Henry  Morgan,  William  Pryor  Letchworth,  and 

Charles  Delamater  Vail.     Following  the  name  of  the 

298  LIFE  OF 

author  is  the  date  of  the  edition  in  which  the  note 
first  appeared.  Thus,  Mix,  ed.  184.2  means  that  the 
note  was  written  by  Ebenezer  Mix  and  first  ap- 
peared in  the  Batavia  edition  of  1842. 

The  notes  are  numbered  consecutively  to  correspond 
with  the  superior  figures  inserted  in  the  text  to  which 
they  relate. 


(Page  g,  line  7.) 

The  following  biographical  note  is  furnished  by 
Dr.  Edward  Hagaman  Hall,  Secretary  of  the  American 
Scenic  and  Historic  Preservation  Society,  at  the  re- 
quest of  the  Reviser: 

"James  Everett  Seaver  was  born  in  Middleboro, 
Mass.,  on  October  15,  1787.  He  was  the  son  of 
Capt.  William  Seaver  and  his  first  wife  Polly  Everett. 
Capt.  William  Seaver  served  during  the  Revolutionary 
war,  being  one  of  the  guards  at  the  execution  of 
Major  Andre.  Capt.  Seaver  was  the  son  of  Brigade 
Major  William  Seaver  of  Taunton,  Mass.,  and  his 
first  wife  Rebecca  Hunt.  Major  Seaver' s  diary, 
published  in  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century, 
was  replete  with  interesting  incidents  of  pioneer  life. 
James  Everett  Seaver's  mother  Polly  Everett  was 
the  daughter  of  Andrew  Everett  and  cousin  of  the 
celebrated  Edward  Everett.  During  James  Everett 
Seaver's  infancy,  his  parents  moved  to  Vermont.  He 
was  admitted  to  the  practice  of  '  Physic  and  Surgery* 
under  the  laws  of  Vermont  February  9,  1813.  From 
Vermont  his  family  moved  to  Hebron,  N.  Y.,  and  soon 
after  his  marriage  to  Margaret  McCall  he  moved  to 
Pembroke,  N.  Y.  Chronic  rheumatism  compelled 
him  to  give  up  his  practice  and  eventually  brought 
on  the  complaints  which  terminated  his  life  on 
January  25,  1827.  He  was  buried  at  Darien  Center, 
N.  Y.  He  enjoyed  the  highest  reputation  for  his 
exemplary  character  and  intellectual  worth.  He  also 


had  a  keen  sense  of  humor  and  considerable  ability 
as  a  poet,  both  of  which  appeared  in  many  short 
pieces  expressing  lofty  sentiments  and  touching  human 
foibles.  His  chief  literary  work,  however,  was  'The 
Life  of  Mary  Jemison/  published  in  1824.  There  is 
a  biographical  notice  of  Dr.  Seaver  in  No.  6  of  volume 
V  of  'The  Gospel  Advocate/  published  at  Buffalo 
on  Saturday,  February  10,  1827,  from  a  copy  of 
which,  kindly  furnished  by  Mr.  William  Seaver 
Woods  of  New  York,  great-grandson  of  Dr.  Seaver, 
the  foregoing  note  has  been  prepared." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

2.  EBENEZER  Mix. 

(Page  i,  line  4.) 

The  following  biographical  note  is  furnished  by 
Dr.  E.  H.  Hall  at  the  request  of  the  Reviser: 

"Ebenezer  Mix  was  born  in  New  Haven,  Conn., 
about  1789,  and  became  a  resident  of  Batavia,  N.  Y., 
in  1809.  He  was  a  mason  by  trade,  but  soon  after 
settling  in  Batavia  he  taught  school,  then  studied  law, 
and  in  March,  1811,  entered  the  service  of  the  Holland 
Company  as  a  clerk  in  their  land  office.  He  con- 
tinued the  latter  connection  for  27  years,  and  took 
a  prominent  part  in  arranging  the  details  of  the 
famous  Holland  Purchase  of  about  3,600,000  acres 
of  land  in  western  New  York  (so-called  because  the 
tracts  were  purchased  with  funds  of  certain  gentlemen 
living  in  Holland).  He  had  unusual  talents  as  a 
practical  mathematician;  and  was  the  author  of  a 
book  entitled  'Practical  Mathematics/  He  had  a 
wonderful  memory  of  localities,  boundaries,  and 
topography;  and  long  after  his  connection  with  the 
Holland  Company  ended,  he  was  appealed  to  as  a 
book  of  reference  or  an  encyclopedia  whenever  con- 
flicting questions  concerning  land  boundaries,  high- 
way locations,  or  primitive  surveys  and  allotments 
arose.  No  one  in  the  employ  of  the  company  had 
more  direct  contact  or  intimate  relations  with  the 

300  LIFE  OF 

pioneer  settlers.  For  20  years  he  was  the  Surrogate 
of  Genesee  county.  In  the  War  of  1812  he  was  an 
aide  to  Gen.  P.  B.  Porter  at  the  successful  sortie  at 
Fort  Erie,  September  17,  1814.  There  is  a  portrait 
of  him  in  Turner's  *  Pioneer  History  of  the  Holland 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  i,  line  21.) 

Dr.  E.  H.  Hall  furnishes  the  following  biographical 
note  at  the  request  of  the  Reviser: 

"Lewis  Henry  Morgan  was  born  at  Aurora,  N.  Y., 
on  the  shore  of  Cayuga  Lake,  November  21,  1818. 
He  was  the  son  of Jedediah  Morgan,  at  one  time  State 
Senator,  and  Harriet  Steele,  his  wife.  James  Morgan 
and  John  Steele,  his  paternal  and  maternal  immigrant 
ancestors,  were  pioneer  New  Englanders  and  both 
members  of  the  first  Assembly  of  Connecticut  Colony. 
Lewis  H.  Morgan  was  graduated  in  1840  from  Union 
College,  from  which  he  later  received  the  degree  of 
LL.D.,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  at  Rochester. 
In  1855,  he  became  interested  in  a  railroad  from 
Marquette,  Mich.,  to  the  Lake  Superior  iron  region, 
which  so  absorbed  his  attention  that  he  gave  up  his 
law  practice.  He  was  a  Member  of  Assembly  in 
1861  and  State  Senator  in  1868.  Soon  after  going  to 
Rochester,  he  met  Ely  S.  Parker,  a  full-blooded 
Seneca  Indian,  and  contracted  a  friendship  with  him 
which  proved  of  the  utmost  value.  With  Parker, 
Morgan  reorganized  a  secret  society  called  'The 
Gordian  Knot*  to  which  they  both  belonged,  the  new 
organization  being  on  the  plan  of  the  League  of  the 
Iroquois  and  devoted  to  the  study  of  Indian  lore. 
Parker  acted  as  interpreter  for  Morgan  in  all  his 
communications  with  the  Indians  of  the  Six  Nations. 
By  distinguished  services  in  championship  of  the 
Indians'  rights  to  their  lands,  Morgan  won  his  way 
into  their  hearts  and  about  the  year  1847  he  was 


adopted  into  the  Seneca  nation,  receiving  the  name 
Td-yd-dd-o-wuh-kuh,  meaning  one  lying  across — that 
is,  a  bridge  or  bond  of  union  between  the  Indians 
and  the  white  men.  He  traveled  extensively  in  the 
United  States,  studying  the  Indians,  and  in  1851  pro- 
duced his  monumental  work  entitled  'The  League  of 
the  Iroquois/  which  was  followed  during  the  next 
thirty  years  by  about  thirty  important  contributions 
to  knowledge  on  the  subject  of  North  American 
ethnology,  and  many  less  pretentious  papers.  He 
made  original  discoveries  of  the  principles  underlying 
Indian  sociology  and  general  customs,  and  by  many 
is  regarded  as  the  father  of  American  anthropology. 
He  died  December  17,  1881." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  i,  line  32.) 

The  following  biographical  note  is  furnished  by 
Dr.  E.  H.  Hall  at  the  Reviser's  request: 

"William  Pryor  Letch  worth  was  descended  from 
English  Quaker  ancestry.  His  first  American  ancestor 
was  his  great-grandfather,  John  Letchworth,  who 
settled  in  Philadelphia,  Penn.,  in  1766.  William 
Pryor  Letchworth  was  born  in  Brownville,  near 
Watertown,  N.  Y.,  May  26,  1823,  the  son  of  Josiah 
and  Ann  Hance  Letchworth.  The  family  moved  to 
Moravia,  and  then  to  Sherwood,  N.  Y.,  whence 
William  at  about  the  age  of  15,  went  to  Auburn,  and 
began  his  business  life  as  a  clerk  in  the  house  of 
Hayden  &  Holmes,  manufacturers  of  saddlery  hard- 
ware. After  seven  years  in  Auburn  and  three  in 
New  York,  in  the  employ  of  the  same  firm,  he  went 
to  Buffalo  and  entered  into  partnership  with  Pratt 
&  Co.,  leading  hardware  merchants.  In  this  business 
he  accumulated  a  comfortable  fortune,  which  enabled 
him  to  travel  abroad,  and  to  give  much  time  to 
philanthropy.  In  1873  Gov.  Dix  appointed  him  a 
State  Commissioner  of  Charities,  and  for  the  next 

302  LIFE  OF 

24  years  his  time  was  almost  completely  absorbed 
with  the  duties  of  that  position.  His  work  for  the 
care  of  the  insane  and  epileptic  and  for  prison  reform 
was  monumental.  In  1893,  the  University  of  the 
State  of  New  York  gave  him  the  degree  of  LL.D.  in 
recognition  of  his  distinguished  services.  In  1859, 
he  began  to  purchase  land  at  Portage  Falls  on  the 
Genesee  River,  and  eventually  acquired  about  1000 
acres.  He  removed  the  debris  of  the  old  lumber  mill 
at  the  falls  (see  note  No.  158  following),  restored  the 
forests,  beautified  the  estate  in  many  ways,  and 
made  the  place  his  home,  calling  it  Glen  Iris.  In 
1871  he  brought  to  Glen  Iris  the  old  Indian  Council 
House  which  formerly  stood  at  Caneadea;  in  1874 
he  brought  from  Buffalo  the  remains  of  Mary  Jemison; 
and  in  1880  he  brought  from  Gardeau  the  log  cabin 
which  Mary  Jemison  built  for  one  of  her  daughters. 
In  1910  he  erected  a  bronze  statue  of  Mary  Jemison 
over  her  grave.  Meanwhile  he  accumulated  a  valu- 
able museum  of  Indian  relics  and  books  relating  to 
chanties.  In  1907,  he  gave  his  estate  to  the  State  of 
New  York  for  a  public  park,  on  condition  that  it 
should  be  in  the  custody  of  the  American  Scenic 
and  Historic  Preservation  Society,  and  he  made  the 
society  his  residuary  legatee.  He  retained  a  life 
tenancy  of  the  property  and  lived  upon  it  till  he  died 
on  December  i,  1910.  He  was  buried  in  Forest  Lawn 
Cemetery,  Buffalo.  For  further  particulars  con- 
cerning Dr.  Letchworth  and  Letchworth  Park,  see  the 
Twelfth  Annual  Report  of  the  American  Scenic  and 
Historic  Preservation  Society,  1907,  pp.  115-226,  and 
subsequent  Reports;  also  'The  Life  and  Work  of 
William  Pryor  Letchworth,'  by  J.  N.  Larned,  1912." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  /,  line  18.) 

In  connection  with  the  subject  of  the  grammatical 
forms  in  Dr.  Seaver's  narrative,  the  reader  may  con- 


suit  with  interest  and  profit  the  valuable  works  of  the 
late  Thomas  Raynesford  Lounsbury,  LL.D.,  L.H.D., 
one  time  professor  of  English  language  and  literature 
at  Yale  University. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

6.  J.  D.  BEMIS. 

(Page  i,  line  25.) 

J.  D.  Bemis,  head  of  the  firm  which  printed  the 
first  edition,  was  a  prominent  citizen  of  Canandaigua, 
N.  Y.  One  of  the  most  important  commercial  build- 
ings of  that  city  to-day  bears  conspicuously  the  name 
of  Bemis  and  is  erected  on  the  site  of  the  printing 
press  which  produced  the  first  edition  of  "The  Life 
of  Mary  Jemison." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  17,  last  line.) 

In  the  first  edition  of  the  narrative  of  Mary  Jem- 
ison's  life  there  is  only  one  remark  that  has  any  bear- 
ing on  this  question  of  the  region  of  abode  in  Ireland 
of  Mary  Jemison's  parents.  In  this  remark  it  is 
stated  that  a  short  time  before  sailing  for  this  country 
Mary  Jemison's  parents  removed  to  the  port  from 
which  they  were  to  sail,  but  unfortunately  the  first 
edition  nowhere  discloses  the  name  of  this  port. 
The  Custom  House  records,  kept  at  that  time  at 
Philadelphia,  however,  supply  the  deficiency;  and 
it  is  learned,  as  shown  in  note  No.  8,  that  the  Jemisons 
sailed  for  this  country  from  Belfast,  Ireland. 

In  a  letter  to  Dr.  Letchworth  from  Mr.  Henry 
O'Reilly,  written  in  1883  and  forming  the  concluding 
part  of  Chapter  XXI  of  the  1898  edition  of  this  book, 
it  is  revealed  by  the  writer  that  he  came  in  boyhood 

3o4  LIFE  OF 

from  that  part  of  Ireland  where  Mary  Jernison's 
parents  dwelt.  An  investigation  into  the  life  of  Mr. 
O'Reilly  shows  that  he  was  born  in  Carrickmacross, 
County  Monaghan,  Province  of  Ulster.  This  fixes 
with  sufficient  accuracy  the  locality  sought. 

That  this  was  the  region  in  Ireland  where  the 
Jemisons  made  their  home  before  sailing  to  Phila- 
delphia is  further  confirmed  by  a  letter  written  to  the 
Reviser  in  1915  by  Miss  Caroline  Bishop,  librarian 
of  Letchworth  Park,  which  says: 

"A  few  days  ago  a  young  man  was  here  who  came 
from  Antrim,  Ireland.  He  is  chauffeur  to  Mrs.  Porter 
Chandler,  formerly  Miss  Wadsworth,  of  Geneseo.  He 
said  that  he  had  heard  his  father  talk  with  his  neigh- 
bors in  Antrim  about  the  Jemisons  and  tell  the  story 
of  Mary's  captivity." 

Antrim  is  about  thirty  miles  directly  north  from 
Carrickmacross  and  both  are  in  the  eastern  part  of  the 
province  of  Ulster. 

Still  further,  it  appears  that  in  a  series  of  articles 
written  by  the  Rev.  W.  K.  Zieber  of  Hanover,  Pa., 
for  The  Gettysburgh  Compiler,  the  article  of  December 
ii,  1879,  states: 

"The  first  settlements  in  the  southwestern  portion 
of  the  territory  now  embraced  in  Adams  County 
were  made  by  the  Scotch-Irish.  About  the  year 
1735  a  number  of  families  established  themselves 
near  the  sources  of  Marsh  Creek.  Others  soon  fol- 
lowed, among  them  in  the  year  1742  or  3  were  Thomas 
Jemison  and  his  wife  Jane  Erwin.  *  *  *  Thomas 
Jemison  and  wife  were  of  honorable  and  wealthy 
Scotch-Irish  parentage." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

<  -a 



(Page  19,  line  9.) 

In  order  to  determine  the  year  of  Mary  Jemison's 
birth  it  is  necessary  to  ascertain  the  year  of  the 
voyage  of  her  parents  to  this  country.  On  page  18 
of  the  original  narrative  of  her  life,  Mrs.  Jemison 
states  that  her  parents  set  sail  from  a  port  in  Ireland 
for  this  country  on  board  the  William  and  Mary, 
(by  her  mistakenly  called  Mary  William)  in  the  year 
1742  or  3,  bound  for  Philadelphia,  and  that  in  the 
course  of  the  voyage  she  herself  was  born.  Hitherto 
no  attempt  seems  to  have  been  made  to  determine 
whether  the  coming  of  Mary  Jemison's  parents  to 
this  country  took  place  in  1742  or  in  1743. 

A  memorandum  by  John  W.  Jordan,  LL.D., 
librarian  of  the  Historical  Society  of  Pennsylvania, 
in  answer  to  an  inquiry,  points  out  that  in  the  Custom 
House  at  Philadelphia  record  was  made  of  the  arrival 
of  ships  from  Great  Britain  and  that  the  records  for 
1742  and  1743  are  extant.  The  memorandum  further 
shows  that  official  lists  were  made  of  the  arrivals  at 
a  colonial  port  of  emigrants  being  aliens,  but  not  of 
emigrants  subjects  of  Great  Britain;  and  that  all 
emigrants  from  the  British  Isles  coming  to  Phila- 
delphia preferred,  if  at  all  possible,  the  summer  trip, 
the  Delaware  River  being  very  often  closed  by  ice  to 
navigation  in  December. 

For  the  purposes  of  the  present  investigation  the 
most  interesting  fact  revealed  in  the  information  ac- 
companying the  memorandum  received  from  Dr. 
Jordan  is  that  in  1742  the  William  and  Mary  in  its 
summer  trip  entered  Philadelphia,  August  26,  not, 
however,  from  an  Irish  port,  but  from  an  English 

306  LIFE  OF 

port,  White  Haven,  whilst  in  1743,  October  6,  the 
William  and  Mary  entered  Philadelphia  from  an 
Irish  port,  Belfast.  It  seems,  therefore,  conclusive 
that  the  Jemisons  arrived  at  Philadelphia  October  6, 
1743,  and  it  would  be  absolutely  conclusive  but  for 
the  existence  of  a  very  tenuous  possibility,  namely, 
that  the  Jemisons  arrived  in  the  William  and  Mary  the 
latter  part  of  December,  1742,  or  early  in  January, 
1743,  for  the  memorandum  from  Dr.  Jordan,  after 
pointing  out  that  there  is  no  record  of  the  arrival  of 
the  William  and  Mary  at  Philadelphia  in  the  winter 
of  either  1742  or  1743,  mentions  that  a  vessel  named 
William  and  Mary  is  registered  as  having  sailed  from 
Philadelphia  for  Londonderry,  Ireland,  October  21, 
1742,  and  again  as  having  sailed  from  Philadelphia  for 
Belfast,  Ireland,  February  10,  1743,  and  this  informa- 
tion furnished  by  Dr.  Jordan  means,  if  there  is  no 
error  in  these  records  and  it  is  the  same  vessel  in  each 
case,  that  the  William  and  Mary  must  have  returned 
to  Philadelphia  in  the  interim,  that  is,  about  the  latter 
part  of  December,  1742,  or  early  in  January,  1743, 
i.e.,  in  the  winter  of  1742-3,  at  a  date  not  recorded, 
and  that  the  Jemisons  may  have  come  to  Philadelphia 
on  this  trip.  It  is  difficult,  though,  to  conceive  that 
persons  of  the  comparative  affluence  of  the  Jemisons 
should,  contrary  to  the  usage  of  the  times  and  of 
their  class,  have  made  the  voyage  at  the  most  un- 
propitious  season  of  the  year  and  under  circumstances 
that  could  not  have  failed  to  make  the  voyage  an 
object  of  dread  to  one  at  least  of  the  party. 

It  will  probably  be  universally  accepted  by  those 
interested  in  preserving  the  integrity  and  dignity  of  the 
Mary  Jemison  legend  that  the  natural  sense  of  the 
legend  should  prevail  and  that  the  date  of  arrival  of 


the  Jemison   family  at   Philadelphia  should   be  ac- 
credited as  October  6,  1743. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  19,  line  26.) 

Marsh  Creek  rises  in  South  Mountain,  in  Franklin 
township,  Adams  County,  Penn.,  about  ten  or  eleven 
miles  northwest  of  Gettysburg.  For  the  first  seven 
or  eight  miles  of  its  course  it  flows  in  a  generally 
eastward  and  southeastward  direction  through  a 
broad  valley  on  the  north  side  of  and  substantially 
parallel  with  the  Chambersburg  pike  or  State  high- 
way leading  from  Gettysburg  to  Chambersburg. 
Then  it  bends  towards  the  south,  crosses  the  pike, 
and  follows  a  winding  course  past  the  western  side  of 
the  battlefield  of  Gettysburg  with  which  it  is  asso- 
ciated in  the  history  of  the  Civil  War.  From  the 
Gettysburg  side  it  receives  as  a  tributary  Willoughby 
Run,  which  also  figures  in  the  history  of  the  battle  of 
Gettysburg,  and  from  the  west  it  is  joined  by  Little 
Marsh  Creek.  Continuing  southward,  and  just  after 
crossing  the  State  line  into  Maryland,  it  joins  Rock 
Creek  which  comes  down  on  the  easterly  side  of 
Gettysburg,  and  their  united  waters  form  the  Mono- 
cacy  River,  which  empties  into  the  Potomac  about 
thirty-five  miles  northwest  of  Washington. 

The  reader  interested  in  studying  the  geography 
and  topography  of  the  country  in  which  Mary 
Jemison's  family  first  settled  may  profitably  consult 
the  Gettysburg  and  Fairfield  quadrangles  of  the 
United  States  Geological  Survey,  which  jointly  em- 
brace the  area  lying  between  latitudes  39°  45'  and 
40°  oo'  north,  and  longitudes  77°  oo'  and  77°  30'  west. 

308  LIFE  OF 

The  sketch  map  printed  in  this  book  is  based  upon 

The  exact  location  of  the  first  domicile  of  the 
Jemisons  on  Marsh  Creek  is  not  known  and  will 
probably  so  remain  unless  it  shall  be  disclosed  by 
records  of  land  conveyances  of  which  we  have  no 
knowledge  at  the  present  writing.  The  family  were 
not  captured  while  living  at  their  first  homestead, 
but  after  they  had  moved  to  another  part  of  the  farm 
or  to  another  neighborhood  not  far  away  (see  page 
21).  As  the  location  of  the  latter  place  is  definitely 
known  to  have  been  near  the  confluence  of  Sharps 
Run  and  Conewago  Creek,  less  than  two  and  a  half 
miles  from  Marsh  Creek  (see  page  220),  and  as  Mary 
Jemison  says  that  her  second  home  was  only  "a  short 
distance  from  our  former  abode,"  we  may  infer  that 
the  first  home  of  the  Jemisons  was  in  the  upper  end 
of  the  Marsh  Creek  valley  on  the  north  side  of  the 
Chambersburg  pike  within  a  few  miles  of  Marsh 
Creek  Hollow.  A  typical  landscape  of  this  section, 
looking  eastward  from  Marsh  Creek  Hollow,  is  de- 
picted in  one  of  the  illustrations  of  this  book. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

10.  THE  SPRING  OF  1752. 

(Page  20,  line  21.) 

This  reference  to  the  "spring  of  1752"  probably 
means  the  spring  of  1755.  The  earliest  narrative  of 
captivity,  in  Pritts's  "Border  Life,"  is  that  of  Col. 
James  Smith  who  was  captured  in  May,  1755,  when 
building  the  road  from  Fort  Loudon  to  Turkey  Foot, 
where  it  was  to  join  the  Braddock  Road;  and  as  the 
beginning  of  Indian  raids  into  western  Pennsylvania 
has  commonly  been  associated  with  Braddock's  ex- 


pedition  and  defeat  it  is  presumable  that  the  be- 
ginning of  the  period  of  alarm  to  which  Mary  Jemison 
refers  here  was  the  spring  of  1755  rather  than  the 
spring  of  1752  and  is  merely  an  example  of  the  error 
of  three  years  so  common  in  Mary  Jemison's  narrative 
and  due,  in  the  first  instance,  to  her  error  of  three 
years  as  to  the  date  of  her  abduction.  See  note  No.  14 
following  on  the  date  of  abduction. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  21,  line  5.) 

The  following  memorandum  is  communicated  by 
the  Rev.  Dr.  Donehoo: 

"The  battle  referred  to  here  was  the  one  fought 
by  Washington  with  the  French  under  M.  Coulon  de 
Villiers,  July  3,  1754,  at  Fort  Necessity  near  the 
present  Farmington,  Pa.,  a  battle  in  which  Washing- 
ton lost  30  men  killed,  42  wounded." 

— Reviser,  ed.  !Ql8. 

12.  THE  WINTER  OF  1754-5. 

(Page  21,  last  line.) 

This  characterization  of  the  winter  of  1754-5  must 
be  taken  as  a  characterization  of  the  winter  actually 
preceding  the  abduction  of  the  Jemisons,  that  is,  the 
winter  of  1757-8. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  22,  line  i.) 

A  memorandum  from  the  librarian  of  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Historical  Society,  in  answer  to  an  inquiry, 
shows  that  in  southeastern  Pennsylvania  not  only 
was  the  winter  of  1754-5  "as  mild  as  common  fall 
seasons,"  but  that  the  winter  of  1757-8  was  of  the 

3io  LIFE  OF 

same  character,  and,  therefore,  it  is  to  be  inferred 
that  meteorologically  the  text  is  supported  by  either 
year  as  the  date  of  the  abduction. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  22,  line  18.) 

The  true  date  of  the  abduction  of  the  Jemison 
family  was  Wednesday,  April  5,  1758.  This  date  is 
conclusively  established  by  two  excerpts  given  below, 
from  The  Pennsylvania  Gazette.  The  first  and  most 
important  of  these  excerpts  bears  date  April  13,  1758. 
It  is  a  letter  from  York  County,  Pa.,  written  April  5, 
1758,  and  reads  as  follows: 

"Three  Indians  were  seen  this  Day  by  two  Boys 
near  Thomas  Jamieson's,  at  the  Head  of  Marsh  Creek; 
upon  which  they  gave  the  Alarm,  when  six  Men  went 
to  said  Jamieson's  House,  and  found  there  one  Robert 
Buck  killed  and  scalped;  also  a  Horse  killed,  that 
belonged  to  William  Man,  a  Soldier  at  Carlisle, 
whose  Wife  and  Children  had  just  come  to  live  with 
Jamieson.  This  Woman,  and  her  three  Children, 
Thomas  Jamieson,  his  Wife,  and  five  or  six  Children, 
are  all  missing.  The  same  Day,  a  Person  going  to 
ShippenVTown,  saw  a  Number  of  Indians  near  that 
Place,  and  imagined  they  designed  to  attack  it. — 
This  has  thrown  the  Country  into  great  Confusion." 

The  second  excerpt  from  The  Pennsylvania  Gazette 
in  this  connection  is  from  the  issue  of  April  20,  1758: 

"We  have  advice  from  Maryland  that  a  party  of 
Cherokee  Indians  are  set  out  from  Fort  Frederick 
in  pursuit  of  the  Indians  that  did  the  mischief  lately 
in  York  County." 

For  these  excerpts,  so  conclusive  in  the  matter  of 
the  date  of  the  abduction  of  the  Jemison  family, 


we  are  indebted  to  Dr.  John  W.  Jordan,  previously 

A  probable  explanation  of  the  cause  of  Mary 
Jemison's  error  as  to  the  date  of  her  abduction,  sug- 
gested by  Dr.  Jordan,  is  that  with  the  lapse  of  years 
she  confused  the  date  of  her  own  abduction,  1758, 
with  the  date  of  the  beginning  of  the  Indian  raids  in 
that  part  of  Pennsylvania  where  the  Jemisons  lived, 
i.  e.,  the  year  of  Braddock's  expedition  and  defeat, 


An  error  of  three  years  occurs  repeatedly  in  Mary 
Jemison's  text  and  is  due,  doubtless,  to  this  initial 
error  as  to  the  date  of  her  abduction. 

It  is  to  be  observed  in  this  connection  that  what  is 
quite  certainly  the  first  printed  notice  of  the  abduction 
of  Mary  Jemison,  that  is,  the  notice  in  The  Pennsyl- 
vania Gazette  given  above,  appeared  the  eighth  day 
(April  13)  after  the  abduction  (April  5).  That  this 
notice  was  copied  more  or  less  extensively  by  the 
press  is  shown  in  the  citation  below  of  an  Addendum 
prepared  by  the  Rev.  W.  K.  Zieber,  D.D.,  for  The 
Gettysburg  Compiler  of  December  II,  1879,  a  copy  of 
which  was  sent  November  29,  1879,  to  Dr.  Letch- 
worth  and  was  found  among  his  papers  by  Dr. 
Letchworth's  secretary,  Miss  Caroline  Bishop.  The 
portion  of  the  Addendum  essential  to  the  purpose  in 
hand  is  as  follows: 

"In  *  Watson's  Annals'  there  is  a  brief  mention  of 
the  abduction  of  the  Jemison  family.  Among  '  sundry 
facts  gleaned  from  the  New  York  Mercury,  &c.,  (sic) 
from  1755  to  J7^3'  the  following  item  occurs:  *I7J>8, 
York  County,  April  5.  Three  Indians  were  seen  this 
day  near  Thomas  Jemison's  at  the  head  of  Marsh 
Creek.  After  the  alarm  was  given  six  men  proceeded 
to  Jemison's  house,  and  found  Robert  Buck  killed 

312  LIFE  OF 

and  scalped — all  the  rest  of  the  family  are  missing. 
The  same  day  a  person  going  to  Shippenstown  saw  a 
number  of  Indians.  These  facts  have  caused  much 

The  citation  given  above  has  been  verified  at  the 
New  York  Public  Library  by  the  secretary  of  the 
American  Scenic  and  Historic  Preservation  Society, 
Dr.  Edward  Hagaman  Hall,  and  its  correctness  as- 
certained (though  the  name  Jemison  is  spelled 
Jamieson).  The  exact  title  of  the  work  here  referred 
to  is,  "Annals  of  Philadelphia  and  Pennsylvania  in 
the  Olden  Time,"  by  John  F.  Watson.  The  work  is 
printed  in  two  volumes.  Copies  of  the  three  earliest 
editions  of  the  work,  those  of  1850,  1857,  1884,  are 
in  the  New  York  Public  Library.  The  passage  will  be 
found  on  page  185  of  the  second  volume  of  each  of  the 
three  editions  inspected.  A  comparison  of  the  cita- 
tion above  from  Watson's  "Annals"  with  the  excerpt 
from  The  Pennsylvania  Gazette  at  the  beginning  of  this 
note  shows  that  Mr.  Watson  made  a  serious  though 
probably  an  unintentional  error  in  accrediting  au- 
thorities for  the  date  and  that  the  reading  public 
owes  its  first  knowledge  of  the  correct  date  of  the 
abduction  of  Mary  Jemison  to  the  columns  of  The 
Pennsylvania  Gazette. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  24.  line  n.) 

The  woman's  husband  referred  to  was  William 
Mann,  a  soldier  at  Carlisle  (see  note  No.  14).  At 
this  time  (April,  1758)  William  Mann  could  not  have 
been  with  Washington,  as  in  that  year  (1758)  Washing- 


From  studies  of  several  originals. 


ton  was  in  command  of  Fort  Loudon  in  Winchester, 
Virginia.  Evidently  as  Washington's  War,  so-called, 
took  place  in  1754,  Mary  Jemison's  historic  confusion 
is  here  one  of  a  four-year  period  instead  of  the  three- 
year  period  ordinarily  observed,  and  though  allowance 
for  a  three-year  error  does  not  give  the  usual  satis- 
factory result,  there  is  little  or  no  doubt  that  Mary 
Jemison's  error  here  is  due  to  her  mistake  as  to  the 
date  of  her  abduction. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  25,  line  8.) 

Mary  Jemison's  captivity  began  April  5,  1758, 
destined  to  last  till  the  end  of  her  life,  in  1833,  though 
just  after  the  close  of  the  War  of  the  Revolution  she 
was  offered  her  liberty  by  her  Indian  brother,  Kau- 
jises-tau-ge-au,  an  offer  which  after  full  consideration 
she  decided  to  decline.  As  Mary  Jemison  was  born 
in  the  summer  of  1743  she  was  at  the  date  of  her  ab- 
duction a  little  less  than  fifteen  years  of  age.  During 
the  first  eight  days  of  her  captivity  (i.  e.,  from  early 
morn  of  Wednesday,  April  5,  1758,  till  Wednesday 
afternoon,  April  12,  1758)  Mary  Jemison  and  her 
fellow-captives  were  hurried  forward  with  merciless 
haste  from  Marsh  Creek  to  Fort  Pitt.  The  second 
night  all  the  captives  except  Mary  and  one  other 
were  most  cruelly  murdered.  See  note  No.  33  fol- 
lowing on  the  route  pursued  by  her  abductors. — Re- 
viser, ed.  1918. 

17.  MARY'S  Two  BROTHERS. 

(Page  25,  line  9 ) 

The  Rev.  E.  F.  McFarland,  a  missionary  at  Taiku, 
Korea,  who  declared  himself  to  be  a  descendant  of 


one  of  these  two  brothers,  visited  Letchworth  Park 
during  the  summer  of  1913. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  25,  line  21.) 

As  Mary  was  born  in  the  year  1742  or  1743,  and 
was  taken  captive  in  1755,  she  was  at  this  time  about 
thirteen  years  of  age. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

Morgan  was  in  error  in  the  above  note.  As  Mary 
was  captured  in  1758  (see  note  No.  14),  she  was  then 
about  fifteen. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  26,  line  sO 

The  second  day  of  Mary  Jemison's  captivity  begins 
on  April  6,  1758. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  26,  line  19.) 

The  site  of  the  fort  here  called  by  Thomas  Jemison 
"Fort  Canagojigge"  is  uncertain.  Mr.  McCauley 
in  his  "History  of  Franklin  County,  Pennsylvania," 
enumerates  eight  forts  as  situated  in  the  valley  or 
tract  of  land  between  the  main  branch  and  the  v/est 
branch  of  Conococheague  Creek,  an  affluent  of  the 
Potomac  River,  no  one  of  which  forts  was  officially 
known  as  Fort  Conococheague.  It  is  possible,  how- 
ever, that  the  designation  Fort  Conococheague,  popu- 
larly pronounced  "Canagojigge,"  was  used  loosely  of 
any  of  the  forts.  On  the  other  hand,  Mr.  John  M. 
Cooper,  editor  of  The  Chambersburg  Valley  Spirit, 


thinks  that  Fort  Chambers,  at  or  near  Chambersburg 
on  the  main  branch,  was  the  only  one  to  which  the 
name  was  likely  to  have  been  applied;  but  certainly 
it  was  not  Fort  Chambers  to  which  Thomas  Jemison 
applied  the  name  on  April  6,  1758,  as  the  abductors 
with  their  captives  had  been  speeding  westward  from 
Marsh  Creek  nearly  a  day  and  a  half  and  undoubtedly 
had  by  that  time  reached  at  least  the  west  branch. 
Of  the  eight  Conococheague  forts,  Fort  Chambers  has 
already  been  mentioned  as  on  the  main  branch. 
With  scarcely  an  exception  the  remaining  forts  were 
located  north  and  south  along  or  near  the  west  branch 
as  a  protection  to  the  frontier  of  the  Conococheague 
Settlement,  as  it  was  called,  the  principal  fort  being 
Fort  Loudon,  directly  west  from  Fort  Chambers. 
As  Fort  Loudon  was  usually  occupied  in  force,  it  is 
unlikely  that  the  abductors  passed  westward  near 
enough  for  the  captives  to  see  that  stronghold.  Fort 
McCord,  a  smaller  fort  north  of  Fort  Loudon,  may 
have  been,  and  probably  was,  the  one  sighted,  since 
at  that  time  Fort  McCord  was  in  ruins,  having  been 
destroyed  two  years  previously  by  the  Indians, 
April  4,  1756.  A  memorandum  received  from  Rev. 
George  P.  Donehoo,  D.D.,  secretary  of  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Historical  Commission,  regards  the  evidence 
as  conclusive  that  the  fort  passed  was  Fort  McCord. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  28,  line  28.) 

The  third  day  of  Mary  Jemison's  captivity  begins 
April  7,  1758. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

3i6  LIFE  OF 


(Page  29,  line  17.) 

A  memorandum  from  Secretary  Donehoo  of  the 
Pennsylvania  Historical  Commission  states  that 
among  the  names  of  the  white  captives  who  were  de- 
livered to  Col.  Bouquet,  Commander  of  Fort  Pitt, 
in  1764,  is  that  of  "Betsey  Jamison,"  who  was  re- 
turned from  the  Lower  Shawnee  Town  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Scioto  River.  It  certainly  is  a  matter  of  great- 
est v/onder  that  within  such  a  brief  period  the  Shaw- 
nees  should  have  captured  two  "Betsey  Jamisons," 
but  under  the  circumstances  it  is  easier  to  accept  an 
inexplicable  coincidence  of  names  than  to  believe 
that  Mary's  own  sister  escaped  that  dreadful  night  at 
the  "dark  and  dismal  swamp"  without  Mary's 
knowledge  or  suspicion  of  the  fact. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

23.  THE  WOMAN'S  "Two  CHILDREN." 

(Page  29,  line  17.) 

To  be  accurate  this  statement  should  read,  "her 
two  other  children."  Compare  page  25,  line  6: 
"The  woman  and  her  three  children,"  and  page  28, 
line  7:  "the  little  boy  that  belonged  to  the  woman 
who  was  taken  with  us." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  31,  line  14.) 

The  fourth  day  of  Mary  Jemison's  captivity  begins 
April  8?  1758,— Reviser,  ed. 



(Page  31,  line  18.) 

The  fifth  day  of  Mary  Jamison's  captivity  begins 
April  9,  1758. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  31,  line  33.) 

The  sixth  and  seventh  days  of  Mary  Jemison's 
captivity  pass:  April  10  and  April  n,  1758. — Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 


(Page  32,  line  16.) 

The  eighth  day  of  Mary  Jemison's  captivity  begins 
April  12,  1758. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  32,  line  23.) 

A  memorandum  from  the  New  York  State  Archaeol- 
ogist, Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker,  in  answer  to  an  inquiry, 

"The  ceremony  here  referred  to  which  Mary 
Jemison  witnessed  outside  the  fort  was  undoubtedly 
the  ceremony  prescribed  by  the  constitution  of  the 
Confederacy  or  in  the  prelude  which  described  the 
journeys  and  trials  of  Hiawatha  and  Deganawideh. 
The  custom  was  for  the  individual  or  party  to  halt, 
build  a  fire  and  for  the  men  to  stand  about  it  with 
their  arms  at  a  distance  and  peacefully  smoke  while 
they  awaited  the  coming  of  a  messenger  from  the 
village.  An  approach  of  this  kind  was  construed  to 
indicate  the  peaceful  intent  of  the  person  or  parties 
coming  upon  a  town  or  settlement.  Sometimes  a 

3i8  LIFE  OF 

string  of  wampum  was  strung  from  a  pole  to  indicate 
that  the  people  approaching  the  village  were  familiar 
with  the  usages  of  intertribal  courtesy." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  32,  line  30.) 

The  foot-note  "Navigator"  in  the  first  edition  un- 
doubtedly refers  to  Zadoc  Cramer's  work  entitled 
"The  Navigator;  or  the  Trader's  Useful  Guide  in 
Navigating  the  Monongahela,  Allegheny,  Ohio  and 
Mississippi  Rivers."  Frequent  editions  of  this  work 
appeared:  the  first  at  Pittsburgh,  1801,  and  the 
twelfth  in  the  year  of  the  publication  of  "The  Life  of 
Mary  Jemison,"  1 824.  The  verification  is  through  the 
eighth  edition,  Pittsburgh,  1814,  a  copy  of  which  is  in 
the  library  of  Cornell  University. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  32,  line  31.) 

Apropos  of  this  first  of  many  interpretations  of 
Indian  names  which  appear  in  this  volume,  it  may 
be  said  that  in  all  investigations  into  Indian  subjects 
the  Indian  interpreter  so-called  is  an  important 
functionary  and  it  would  be  well  if  original  investi- 
gators were  compelled  by  custom  to  name  the  in- 
terpreter to  whom  they  are  principally  indebted  for 
their  views  and  to  describe  in  detail  his  qualifications. 

By  an  Indian  interpreter  is  here  meant  one  who  by 
birth  or  by  adoption  and  long  residence  and  by  certain 
intellectual  aptitudes  is  learned  in  the  language  of  a 
tribe  or  nation,  and  of  its  customs,  traditions  and 
history  and  is  also  gifted  in  power  to  express  ade- 
quately the  lore  of  which  he  is  master. 


Of  interpreters  who  are  Indians  by  adoption,  pos- 
sibly the  most  conspicuous  is  Horatio  Jones  who 
rendered  such  invaluable  services  to  the  government. 
For  an  interesting  account  of  his  life  see  the  Buffalo 
Historical  Society's  "Collections"  Volume  VI,  is- 
sued under  the  superintendence  of  the  librarian,  Mr. 
Frank  H.  Severance.  Associated  with  the  name  of 
Horatio  Jones  is  that  of  Jasper  Parrish,  of  whom  also 
a  very  satisfactory  relation  is  made  in  Volume  VI  of 
the  Buffalo  Historical  Society's  "Collections"  before 
referred  to. 

Of  interpreters  who  arc  Indian  by  birth,  unques- 
tionably the  most  notable  is  General  Ely  S.  Parker, 
member  of  General  Grant's  staff  during  the  Civil 
War.  General  Parker  was  a  Seneca  Sachem  and  the 
invaluable  friend  and  the  collaborator  of  Mr.  Morgan 
in  the  preparation  of  "The  League  of  the  Iroquois,"  and 
to  him  Mr.  Morgan  dedicated  that  monumental  work. 

General  Parker's  grand-nephew,  Mr.  Arthur  C. 
Parker,  is  well  known  as  the  official  ethnologist  of  the 
State  of  New  York. 

The  Rev.  Albert  Cusick,  an  educated  and  talented 
Onondaga,  was  interpreter  for  the  Rev.  Dr.  Beau- 
champ.  Dr.  Horatio  Hale  ("The  Iroquois  Book  of 
Rites")  also  spoke  of  his  "Interpreter,  Albert  Cuesick, 
an  intelligent  and  educated  man." 

For  an  ample  list  consult  Pilling's  "Bibliography  of 
Iroquoian  Languages."  — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

31.  "WESTERN    TOUR." 

(Page  32,  line  34.) 

"Western  Tour"  is  the  abbreviated ( title  of  an 
interesting  book  of  travels  by  F.  Cuming,  published 
at  Pittsburgh,  1810,  with  notes  and  an  appendix  by 

320  LIFE  OF 

Zadock  Cramer  as  editor.  The  statements  here 
quoted  are  the  appendix,  the  editor  of  which  gives  as 
his  authority  a  letter  received  by  him  from  the  Rev. 
John  Heckewelder,  dated  Gnadenhutten  (Muskin- 
gum,  Ohio)  3  Feb.,  1810. — Reviser,  ed.  igi8. 

32.  THE  WORD  "Omo." 

(Page  33,  line  2.) 

0-hee-yo,  the  radix  of  the  word  Ohio,  signifies  the 
Beautiful  River;  and  the  Iroquois,  by  conferring  it 
upon  the  Alleghany,  or  head  branch  of  the  Ohio,  have 
not  only  fixed  a  name  from  their  language  upon  one 
of  the  great  rivers  of  the  continent,  but  indirectly 
upon  one  of  the  noblest  States  of  our  Confederacy. 
("League  of  the  Iroquois,"  p.  436.) — -Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

A  memorandum  from  the  Rev.  William  M.  Beau- 
champ,  S.T.D.,  author  of  "Aboriginal  Place  Names  of 
New  York,"  in  answer  to  an  inquiry  about  the  word 
Ohio  says  the  termination  io,  primarily  great  but  now 
beautiful,  has  in  his  opinion  always  combined  both 
meanings;  for  example,  Ontario  is  the  great  lake,  and 
Ohio  the  great  river,  though  both  are  translated 
beautiful.  Of  the  erroneous  statement  in  the  text 
that  the  word  0-hi-o  signifies  bloody,  it  is  suggested 
(p.  32  "Aboriginal  Place  Names")  that  this  definition 
originated  by  association  and  commemorates  the 
bloody  scenes  enacted  along  the  Ohio. — 'Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  33,  line  9.) 

The  place  of  Mary  Jemison's  capture  is  described  on 
pages  213-227  preceding,  and  is  shown  on  the  accom- 


From  original  owned  by  the  Buffalo  Historical  Society 


panying  map.  It  was  near  the  confluence  of  Sharp's 
Run  and  Conewago  Creek,  about  a  mile  from  one  of 
the  headwaters  of  Marsh  Creek,  in  Franklin  Town- 
ship, Adams  County,  Pa.,  about  10^  miles  in  an  air- 
line northwest  of  Gettysburg.  The  route  of  her  ab- 
ductors from  this  point  to  Fort  Duquesne  (later 
named  Fort  Pitt  and  now  Pittsburgh)  may  be  fol- 
lowed upon  the  accompanying  reduced  facsimile  of 
W.  Scull's  famous  map  of  the  Province  of  Pennsyl- 
vania. The  original  map,  31  by  21  inches  in  size,  dis- 
playing at  the  top  in  colors  the  coat-of-arms  of  the 
Province  of  Pennyslvania,  was  printed  at  Philadelphia 
April  4,  1770.  A  copy  of  the  map  is  owned  by  the 
Rev.  George  P.  Donehoo,  D.D.,  of  Coudersport,  Pa., 
secretary  of  the  Pennsylvania  Historical  Commission, 
by  whom  it  was  kindly  loaned  to  the  Reviser.  Dr. 
Donehoo,  who  is  the  best  authority  on  this  branch  of 
the  subject,  has  added  to  the  original  map  an  indica- 
tion of  the  location  of  Marsh  Creek,  Fort  McCord, 
and  the  probable  route  of  the  captors  to  the  vicinity 
of  Fort  Littleton,  and  has  emphasized  the  route  from 
that  point  westward  to  Fort  Pitt. 

As  an  authority  on  the  geography  and  early  history 
of  this  region,  Dr.  Donehoo  thinks  that  the  Indians, 
after  capturing  Mary  Jemison,  struck  off  northwest- 
ward through  the  wilderness;  passed  north  of  Cono- 
cocheague  Creek;  crossed  the  Chambersburg,  Ship- 
pensburg  and  Carlisle  Pike  near  the  present  Scotland, 
which  is  north  of  Fort  Chambers  (now  Chambersburg), 
and  continued  thence  in  the  same  general  direction 
past  the  site  of  Fort  McCord.  This  course  is  iden- 
tified by  Dr.  Donehoo  as  substantially  the  one  pur- 
sued by  the  captors  of  Richard  Bard  and  family 
who  were  taken  prisoners  eight  days  later  (April  13, 

322  LIFE  OF 

1758)  at  Marshall's  Mill  in  Carroll's  Tract,  in  the 
same  general  region  as  the  Jemison  homestead.  For- 
tunately Richard  Bard  lived  to  write  out  the  details 
of  his  capture  and  the  course  his  captors  took.  Rich- 
ard Bard's  narrative  may  be  found  in  Pritts'  Collec- 
tion, mentioned  in  note  No.  126. 

From  Fort  McCord,  the  route  was  northward  and 
westward  to  the  vicinity  of  Fort  Littleton.  From 
this  point  onward,  the  general  route  may  be  described 
as  being  what  is  known  as  the  State  Highway  or  Lin- 
coln Highway  between  Philadelphia  and  Pittsburgh, 
which,  we  need  not  be  surprised  to  learn,  is  simply 
the  primitive  Indian  trail  between  the  Delaware  and 
Ohio  rivers.  This  portion  of  this  primitive  Indian 
trail  Dr.  Donehoo  has  been  at  pains  to  make  readily 
discernible  on  the  map  by  heavier  marking.  It  will 
be  noted  that  from  Fort  Littleton  the  line  passes  west- 
ward through  Bedford,  Edmund's  Swamp,  Fort 
Ligonier,  Col.  Bouquet's  field  at  Bushy  Run  (a  battle 
not  fought,  however,  till  August,  1763),  thence  past 
Gen.  Braddock's  field  (1755)  to  Fort  Pitt.  It  is 
probable,  Dr.  Donehoo  says,  that  Mary's  captors 
left  the  main  trail  in  several  places  to  avoid  scouting 
parties  from  Fort  Loudon. 

Fort  McCord,  as  already  stated  (see  note  No.  20), 
was  probably  the  "Fort  Canagojigge"  which  Thomas 
Jemison  pointed  out.  The  site,  on  the  west  branch 
of  the  Conococheague,  about  eight  miles  west  of 
Chambersburg  on  the  John  W.  Bossart  farm,  has 
been  marked  by  the  Pennsylvania  Historical  Com- 
mission with  a  granite  monument  containing  a  large 
bronze  tablet. 

Edmund's  swamp,  the  largest  along  the  route  as 
shown  on  the  map,  cannot  possibly  be,  from  its  skua- 


tion,  the  "dark  and  dismal  swamp"  within  whose 
borders  Mary  represents  herself  as  sleeping  the  second 
night  after  this  frightful  journey  began — a  journey 
which  at  its  end  found  her  with  clothes  so  torn  in 
pieces  that  she  was  almost  naked.  (See  page  36.) 
Dr.  Donehoo  considers  it  probable  that  the  swamp 
mentioned  in  the  narrative  was  that  which  was  situ- 
ated in  the  early  days  along  the  first  range  of  moun- 
tains west  of  Fort  McCord.  There  were  many  dark 
and  dismal  swamps  in  that  region  at  that  time,  before 
the  trees  were  cut  down  and  the  land  was  drained 
and  cultivated.  Some  of  these  swamps  have  been 
drained  in  recent  years. 

Dr.  Donehoo  states  that  the  distance  from  the 
Jemison  homestead  to  Fort  Pitt  is  about  175  miles 
and  that  the  trail  is  a  difficult  one.  Having  traveled 
it  twice  on  foot  its  entire  length  in  research  work,  he 
is  quite  sure  it  could  not  have  been  gone  over  by 
Mary  Jemison  and  her  fellow-captives  in  the  time 
named  by  her,  which  is  a  trifle  less  than  six  days  of 
actual  travel.  Nevertheless,  the  interested  reader, 
carefully  re-reading  Mary  Jemison's  account,  will  note 
that  the  Indian  captors  literally  hurtled  their  captives 
through  the  whole  distance,  and  that  at  the  end  of 
the  fifth  day  of  continuous  travel  Mary  pathetically 
confesses  that  she  was  so  exhausted  from  exposure 
and  running  that  she  must  fail  and  die.  In  connection 
with  this  thrilling  and  trying  experience,  it  is  to  be 
borne  in  mind  that  Mary  was  then  a  little  less  than 
fifteen  years  of  age,  delicate  and  small,  indeed  even 
when  full  grown  only  four  and  a  half  feet  in  height 
and  apparently  not  particularly  robust.  But  the 
spirit  enshrined  in  her  was  so  resolute  and  heroic 

324  LIFE  OF 

that  she  came  at  last  through  hardships  almost  in- 
credible to  fourscore  and  ten  years  of  age. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  34.  Hne  10.) 

The  ninth  day  of  Mary  Jemison's  captivity  begins 
April  13,  1758. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  34,  line  21.) 

The  Senecas  were  a  considerable  element  of  the 
Indian  population  along  the  Ohio  River.  No  statis- 
tics are  at  hand  to  show  how  large  an  element  they 
were  in  the  year  of  Mary  Jemison's  coming,  1758; 
but  the  report  made  to  the  Pennsylvania  Colonial 
Council  by  Conrad  Weiser  of  the  Indian  Council  held 
ten  years  earlier,  in  September,  1748,  under  his  super- 
vision at  Logstown  about  twenty  miles  down  the 
Ohio  from  Pittsburgh,  shows  the  number  of  the  right- 
ing men  of  each  nation  settled  at  that  time  on  the 
Ohio  as  given  by  the  deputies  in  council  to  have  been 
as  follows,  the  count  being  by  bundles  of  small  sticks : 
"Senecas,  163;  Shawanees,  162;  Owandots,  100; 
Tisagechroamis,  40;  Mohawks,  74;  Mohicans,  15; 
Onondagos,  35;  Cayugas,  20;  Onedias,  15;  Dela- 
wares,  165;  in  all,  789."  (See  Logstown,  a  pamphlet 
by  Daniel  Agnew,  LL.D.,  Pittsburgh,  1894.)  In  this 
connection  it  is  worth  notice  that,  in  the  number  of 
their  fighting  men,  the  Senecas  were  surpassed  by  the 
Delawares  alone,  and  by  them  only  by  two  men,  but 
these  figures  do  not  include  the  Senecas  in  New  York. 
— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



(Page  34.  line  27.) 

The  home  country  of  the  Shawnees,  at  the  period  of 
colonization  by  the  Europeans,  was  in  the  western 
part  of  the  present  State  of  Kentucky.  They  are 
thus  located  by  Albert  Gallatin,  on  his  map  of  the 
sites  of  the  Indian  tribes  of  the  continent,  published 
in  the  second  volume  of  "The  Transactions  of  the 
American  Ethnological  Society."  The  name  of  this 
nation  in  the  Seneca  dialect  of  the  Iroquois  language 
is  Sa-wd-no'-o-no. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

Three  different  tribes  of  Indians  are  connected 
with  Mary  Jemison's  life  in  southern  Ohio:  the 
Shawnees,  six  of  whom  with  four  Frenchmen  ab- 
ducted her  and  took  her  to  Fort  DuQuesne;  the 
Senecas,  to  two  of  whose  women  she  was  given  and 
by  whom  she  was  afterward  adopted;  and  the  Dela- 
wares,  to  one  of  whom,  a  chief,  she  was  married 
in  1760. — Reviser  y  ed.  1918. 


(Page  35,  line  6.) 

The  Shawnee  town  which  Mary's  party  passed  was 
probably  Shingas  Town,  near  the  junction  of  Beaver 
River  with  the  Ohio,  about  30  miles  below  Pittsburgh. 
— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  35,  line  20.) 

The  following  memorandum  concerning  the  use  of 
the  word  squaw  is  furnished  by  Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker, 
New  York  State  Archaeologist,  in  answer  to  inquiries 

326  LIFE  OF 

by  the  Reviser  of  the  1918  edition  to  whom  it  had 
been  suggested  by  Mr.  J.  N.  B.  Hewitt  of  the  Bureau 
of  American  Ethnology  that  the  popular  usage  of  the 
word  squaw  was  objectionable.  Mr.  Parker  says: 

"I  scarcely  believe  that  Mary  Jemison  ever  used 
the  term  squaw  and  think  most  likely  that  her  biog- 
rapher, without  considering  the  matter,  had  used  it 
where  she  had  said  woman.  The  word  squaw  among 
the  Iroquois  is  a  term  of  disrepute  and  you  will  find 
that  its  use  on  the  reservations  in  New  York  and 
Canada  is  greatly  resented.  In  a  foot-note  in  my 
'Iroquois  Uses  of  Maize  and  Other  Food  Plants/  I 
have  mentioned  this  and  given  some  explanation. 
With  the  Indians  of  our  State  the  term  is  obsolete 
in  the  same  sense  as  the  word  wench  is  obsolete  when 
applied  to  a  housewife  of  English  descent. 

"The  word  squaw  was  originally  used  by  the  early 
settlers  of  New  England  to  designate  an  Indian  woman 
and  it  is  derived  from  a  word  the  root  of  which  is  squa, 
meaning  female.  It  was  generally  used  in  compounds, 
however; — thus  the  Penobscot  word  nunk-squa  means 
young  woman.  Roger  Williams  in  his  Narraganset 
vocabulary  spells  the  word,  as  it  is  now  current,  squaw. 
The  word  for  an  old  woman  is  wenise,  and  the  word 
for  mother  is  okasu  or  witchwhau,  while  wife  is  weewo 
and  little  girl  is  squasese.  The  word  therefore  does 
not  imply  either  motherhood  or  the  holding  of 
property.  In  Iroquois  the  word  for  man  is  ongweh 
and  for  male  is  Hahjino,  and  the  word  for  woman  is 
yongwe;  small  boy  is  raxa-a;  girl  is  yixa-a;  child  is 
exa-a;  infant  is  owira-a.  The  name  for  youth,  male, 
unmarried  is  raksaadase;  the  name  for  youth,  female, 
unmarried  is  yiksaazase,  both  meaning  new  bodied. 
The  word  for  father  is  rakeniha;  mother  is  isteaga. 
These  words  are  all  in  the  Mohawk  dialect  and  are 
similar  to  those  in  the  other  tongues,  as  Onondaga 
and  Seneca. 

"I  can  appreciate  your  feeling  of  delicacy  in  this 
matter  of  calling  an  Iroquois  woman  a  squaw,  but 


no  one  can  accuse  you  of  malice  aforethought  if  you 
have  merely  quoted  Seaver's  manuscript." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

39.  SHE-NAN-JEE. 

(Page  35,  line  20  and  foot-note.) 

Of  the  two  locations  suggested  by  the  author,  Dr. 
Seaver,  in  the  foot-note  on  page  35,  as  probably  the 
site  of  the  "small  Seneca  Indian  town"  to  which  Mary 
Jemison  was  taken,  the  mouth  of  Indian  Cross  Creek 
is  now  generally  accepted  as  the  true  one.  (See  note 
No.  60.)  Of  Warren,  the  second  or  alternative  loca- 
tion suggested,  it  is  to  be  noticed  that  later,  the  name 
was  changed  to  Warrenton.  Mr.  Cuming,  in  his 
book,  "The  Western  Tour,"  Pittsburgh,  1810,  quoted 
on  page  32  (see  note  No.  31),  speaks  in  Chapter  VII 
of  the  "new  town  and  settlement  of  Warren,"  stating 
(page  93)  that  "it  contains  thirty-eight  dwelling 
houses,  charmingly  situated  on  an  extensive  bottom, 
with  Indian  Short  Creek  emptying  into  the  Ohio  at 
its  southern  extremity." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  36,  line  5.) 

The  reader  who  visits  Letchworth  Park  will  be 
interested  in  the  portrayal  of  Indian  costume  in  the 
bronze  statue  of  Mary  Jemison  by  the  well-known 
sculptor,  Mr.  Henry  Kirke  Bush-Brown.  The  figure 
represents  her  as  she  is  supposed  to  have  appeared 
when  she  arrived  in  the  Genesee  country,  carrying  her 
babe  on  her  back.  The  costume  was  modeled  after 
authentic  specimens  of  the  period  found  in  the  New 
York  State  Museum  at  Albany,  the  American  Museum 
of  Natural  History  in  New  York,  and  private  collec- 

328  LIFE  OF 

tions.  Some,  but  not  all,  of  the  specimens  of  the 
New  York  State  Museum  from  which  various  features 
of  the  statue  were  modeled  were  destroyed  by  fire 
in  the  capitol  on  March  29,  1911.  The  majority 
of  them  are  now  on  exhibition  in  the  State  Museum. 
For  detailed  description  see  the  Sixteenth  Annual 
Report  of  the  American  Scenic  and  Historic  Preserva- 
tion Society,  1911,  pages  233  and  234.  About  10,000 
specimens  were  lost  in  the  fire  above  mentioned,  in- 
cluding the  Iroquois  textiles  and  many  of  the  Morgan 
specimens. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  37,  line  27.) 

The  correct  spelling  of  Mary  Jemison's  Indian 
name  is  Deh-ge-wa-nus.  It  is  possible  that  in  Dr. 
Seaver's  original  manuscript  notes  it  was  written 
Dickewanus,  which  closely  represents  the  correct 
pronunciation,  and  that  in  transcribing  for  the  printer 
or  in  setting  up  in  type  the  nu  of  the  last  syllable  be- 
came changed  unintentionally  to  mi.  Dr.  Seaver 
interprets  the  name  on  page  38,  lines  6-8,  as  a  pretty 
girl,  a  handsome  girl,  or  a  pleasant,  good  thing.  Mr. 
Mix,  in  his  transmogrification  of  the  work,  in  1842, 
not  only  changed  the  spelling  in  the  text  to  Deh-he-wa- 
mis,  but  also  put  it  in  the  title-page  and  used  it  in  the 
running-heads  at  the  top  of  the  pages.  In  the 
fifteenth  edition  (1877)  Mr.  William  C.  Bryant  called 
attention  to  the  error,  saying: 

"The  orthography  of  the  name  conferred  upon  the 
captive  ...  is  incorrectly  given  in  the  body  of  this 
work,  and  the  signification  is  erroneously  rendered. 
The  name  should  be  written  Deh-ge-wa-nus,  and 


means  literally  The-Two-f Calling-Voices"     (See  pages 
198-199  preceding.) 

Notwithstanding  what  Mr.  Bryant  wrote,  the  spell- 
ing Deh-he-wa-mis  was  continued  through  that  and 
subsequent  editions  to  and  including  the  nineteenth. 

Dr.  William  M.  Beauchamp,  in  a  letter  dated 
September  25,  1913,  points  out,  as  Mr.  Parker  had 
already  done  (see  below),  that  there  are  no  labials  in 
the  Iroquois  dialects  and  thus  Deh-he-wa-mis  is  in- 
correct. He  expresses  the  pronunciation  ortho- 
graphically  De-gi-wa-nahs^  meaning  two  females  letting 
words  fall. 

Mr.  J.  N.  B.  Hewitt,  in  a  letter  dated  October  I, 
191 3, gives  the  spelling  De-gi-wdn-nenys^ explaining  that 
e  and  i  have  the  continental  later  sound;  d  has  the 
sound  of  a  in  hat;  e  has  the  sound  of  e  in  met;  n-superior 
nasalizes  the  preceding  vowel;  and  the  apostrophe 
represents  a  glottal  closure.  The  meaning  given  is 
the  voices  of  two  (women)  are  falling. 

When  the  statue  of  Mary  Jemison  was  erected  in 
Letchworth  Park  in  1910,  Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker  was 
consulted  as  to  the  spelling  of  the  name  to  be  put  on 
the  base,  and  wrote: 

"Mr.  Seaver  never  spelled  Mary  Jemison's  name 
correctly.  This  is  self-evident,  as  there  is  no  m- 
sound  in  the  Iroquois  language.  The  correct  spelling 

is  Deh-ge-wa-nus. ' ' 

The  latter  spelling  was  therefore  adopted  and  put 
upon  the  statue.  On  December  12,  1915,  Mr.  Parker 
indicated  the  phonography  of  the  name  with  more 
care  in  the  spelling  De-glr-wdn-nes,  with  accent  on  the 
second  syllable.  He  says  her  pet  name  was  Wen'-nes, 

accent  on  the  first  syllable.  — Reviser,  ed. 


330  LIFE  OF 


(Page  38,  line  13.) 

The  year  before  the  abduction  was  1757;  Wash- 
ington's war  was  1754 — an  error  of  three  years,  the 
same  as  Mary  Jemison's  error  as  to  the  date  of  her 
abduction  and  probably  the  result  of  that  error. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  39,  line  10.) 

Concerning  Mary  Jemison's  statement  that  it  is 
family,  and  not  national,  sacrifices  amongst  the 
Indians  that  has  given  them  an  indelible  stamp  as 
barbarians,  we  give  below  an  excerpt  from  one  of  a 
series  of  articles  contributed  to  The  Gettysburg  Com- 
piler, Gettysburg,  Pa.,  during  the  winter  of  1879-80 
by  the  Rev.  W.  K.  Zieber,  D.D.,  of  Hanover,  Pa., 
on  the  Mary  Jemison  legend: 

"It  was  in  their  wars  with  the  whites  that  the 
Indians  gained  their  unenviable  reputation  for  bar- 
barous cruelty.  We  shudder  as  we  read  of  the 
atrocities  they  committed  upon  their  helpless  cap- 
tives. In  their  raids  upon  the  frontier  settlement 
they  often  massacred  innocent  and  unresisting  women 
and  children.  But  there  were  whites  who  were  guilty 
of  the  same  savagery.  When  the  Jemison  family 
was  butchered  in  the  year  1755  [1758],  in  that  'dark 
and  dismal  swamp,'  somewhere  west  of  Chambersburg, 
three  French  soldiers  were  present,  who  sanctioned,  if 
they  did  not  take  part  in,  the  bloody  tragedy.  The 
Indians  scalped  the  dying  and  the  dead  in  order  that 
they  might  exhibit  trophies  of  their  prowess.  White 
frontiersmen  did  the  same  thing  for  the  same  purpose. 
The  heaviest  condemnation  that  rests  upon  the  In- 
dians is  on  account  of  the  dreadful  tortures  they  at 


times  inflicted  upon  the  whites  whom  they  had  taken 
captive.  Of  this  cruel  custom  Mary  Jemison  gives  an 
unexpected  explanation.  She  says  the  Indians  tor- 
tured and  slew  prisoners  as  an  act  of  sacrifice,  and 
that  this  was  not  a  national  but  a  family  offering.  It 
would  seem  that  the  stern  law  of  blood-revenge  was  in 
force  among  the  aborigines.  A  family  that  had  lost 
a  relative  in  war  was  religiously  bound  either  to  fill 
his  place,  when  the  opportunity  was  offered,  with  some 
prisoner,  who  was  formally  adopted  into  the  family 
and  substituted  for  the  lost  one,  or  else  they  had  to 
offer  a  prisoner  in  sacrifice  to  appease  the  manes 
of  their  slain  relative. 

'"'It  was  and  yet  is  a  common  practice  among 
peoples  of  patriarchal  habits,  for  the  nearest  of  kin, 
as  a  matter  of  imperative  duty,  to  avenge  the  death  ot 
a  slain  relative  by  slaying  his  murderer,  or  some  mem- 
ber of  his  family  or  nation.  This  custom  was  in 
vogue  among  the  Jews  in  the  time  of  Moses.  That 
eminent  law-giver  sought  by  legal  enactment  to 
ameliorate  the  evils  connected  with  such  blood- 
revenge.  He  appointed  cities  of  refuge  whither  the 
man-slayer  might  flee,  and  escape  the  avenger  of 
blood.  Then  he  became  a  prisoner  of  the  nation,  was 
subject  to  trial,  and,  if  guilty,  to  punishment.  In  our 
own  land  and  time  there  prevails  a  species  of  blood- 
revenge,  witnessed  in  the  so-named  '  Vendettas'  which 
often  result  in  the  gradual  extinction  of  whole  fam- 
ilies. Seen  in  this  light,  the  deadly  tortures  the 
Indians  inflicted  upon  their  prisoners  are  not  to  be 
ascribed  to  unfeeling  ferocity  and  unbounded  cruelty, 
but  to  the  power  of  a  custom  which  had  for  them  the 
obligation  of  a  religious  duty." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  39,  line  29.) 

"The    Iroquois    never    exchanged    prisoners    with 
Indian  nations,  nor  ever  sought  to  reclaim  their  own 

332  LIFE  OF 

people  from  captivity  among  them.  Adoption  or  the 
torture  were  the  alternative  chances  of  the  captive. 
*  *  *  A  regular  ceremony  of  adoption  was  performed 
in  each  case  to  complete  the  naturalization.  With 
captives  this  ceremony  was  the  gauntlet,  after  which 
new  names  were  assigned  to  them.  Upon  the  return 
of  a  war  party  with  captives,  if  they  had  lost  any  of 
their  own  number  in  the  expedition,  the  families  to 
which  these  belonged  were  first  allowed  an  opportunity 
to  supply  from  the  captives  the  places  made  vacant  in 
their  households.  Any  family  could  then  adopt  out 
of  the  residue  any  such  as  chanced  to  attract  their 
favorable  notice,  or  whom  they  wished  to  save. 
At  the  time  appointed,  the  women  and  children 
of  the  village  arranged  themselves  in  two  parallel 
rows  just  without  the  village,  each  one  having  a 
whip  with  which  to  lash  the  captives  as  they  passed 
between  the  lines.  The  male  captives,  who  alone 
were  required  to  undergo  this  test  of  their  powers  of 
endurance,  were  brought  out,  and  each  one  was 
shown  in  turn  the  house  in  which  he  was  to  take 
refuge,  and  which  was  to  be  his  future  home  if  he 
passed  successfully  through  the  ordeal.  They  were 
then  taken  to  the  head  of  this  long  avenue  of  whips, 
and  were  compelled,  one  after  another,  to  run  through 
it  for  their  lives,  and  for  the  entertainment  of  the 
surrounding  throng,  exposed  at  every  step,  unde- 
fended, and  with  naked  backs,  to  the  merciless  in- 
fliction of  the  whip.  Those  who  fell  from  exhaustion 
were  immediately  dispatched,  as  unworthy  to  be 
saved;  but  those  who  emerged  in  safety  from  this 
test  of  their  physical  energies  were  from  that  moment 
treated  with  the  utmost  affection  and  kindness. 
When  the  perils  of  the  gauntlet  were  over,  the  captive 
ceased  to  be  an  enemy,  and  became  an  Iroquois.  Not 
only  so,  but  he  was  received  into  the  family  by  which 
he  was  adopted,  with  all  the  cordiality  of  affection, 
and  into  all  the  relations  of  the  one  whose  place  he 
was  henceforth  to  occupy."  ("League  of  the  Iro- 
quois,"  page  343.)— 'Morgan,  (d,  1856* 


As  the  Indian  practice  of  adoption — a  primitive 
social  system  of  great  importance  which  under  the 
form  of  naturalization  survives  in  the  civilization  of 
to-day — can  properly  be  described  in  this  connection 
only  with  reference  to  its  more  individual  and  popular 
phases,  persons  interested  in  the  graver  aspects  of 
the  subject,  particularly  the  philosophy  of  it,  are  re- 
ferred to  the  Smithsonian  Institution's  "Handbook  of 
American  Indians"  and  especially  to  two  very  read- 
able and  scholarly  articles  therein  furnished  by  Mr. 
J.  N.  B.  Hewitt  and  entitled  "Adoption"  and  "Or- 
enda,"  also  to  Mr.  Hewitt's  article  on  the  latter  sub- 
ject in  "The  American  Anthropologist"  for  1902. 
It  is  to  be  regretted  that  there  is  no  popular  handbook 
of  this  custom  and  its  allied  subjects,  as  the  general 
reader  will  search  in  vain  in  our  latest  and  best 
English  dictionaries  and  encyclopedias  and  even  in 
more  recondite  works,  such,  for  example,  as  Maine's 
"Ancient  Law"  and  Frazer's  "Golden  Bough,"  for 
any  intimation  that  there  is  such  a  thing  as  the  Indian 
Practice  of  Adoption  and  that  the  reason  for  its 
existence  must  be  looked  for  in  the  occult. 

Among  the  Iroquois  adoption  was  practiced  not 
merely  as  regards  individuals,  but  also  as  regards 
"families,  clans  or  gentes,  bands  and  tribes."  (See 
page  15  "Handbook  of  American  Indians.")  How- 
ever wanton  and  ruthless  may  have  been  the  slaughter 
and  treatment  of  captives  when  the  frenzy  of  battle 
or  revenge  was  on,  the  interest  of  captives  was  pro- 
tected, theoretically,  at  least,  among  the  Iroquois,  by 
usages  and  laws  securing  to  them  the  privilege  of 

In  this  connection  Mr.  A.  C.  Parker,  the  New  York 
State  Archaeologist,  in  answer  to  an  inquiry,  writes: 

334  LIFE  OF 

"The  wampum  laws  of  the  League  made  it  obliga- 
tory to  adopt  all  captives  who  signified  their  willing- 
ness to  enter  the  Confederacy.  In  case  large  numbers 
were  captured  they  were  settled  either  in  the  Iroquois 
villages  or  in  little  villages  of  their  own  in  the  Iroquois 
domain.  Thus  the  Iroquois  had  at  various  times  in 
villages  captive  Muskwaki,  Huron,  Neutral,  Dela- 
ware, &c.  Great  numbers  of  prisoners  were  seldom 
killed.  Adoption  was  the  general  rule.  One  cannot 
judge  the  mental  viewpoint  of  the  Indian  by  present- 
day  Anglo-Saxon  standards.  A  captive  once  in  a 
tribe  gave  his  loyalty  to  it  and  traditions  do  not  tell  of 
traitors.  They  had  entered  a  new  system,  had  be- 
come a  part  of  it  and  would  fight  for  it.  Captives 
that  no  family  would  adopt,  if  plainly  earnest  in  their 
desire  to  be  loyal  to  their  conquerors  would  be  given 
either  formal  or  informal  national  adoption  and  find 
their  place  eventually  in  the  life  of  the  nation,  marry 
native  women  and  be  accorded  every  privilege. 
Some,  however,  became  slaves,  but  their  children 
were  free  born." 

From  this  point  of  view  adoption  resolves  itself, 
as  Mr.  Parker  states  in  his  letter,  into  three  kinds: 
family,  clan,  national.  But  as  the  clan  is  a  cross 
division  of  the  family  and  of  the  nation  as  a  congeries 
of  families,  clan  adoption  does  not  exist  separately 
from  the  family  and  the  nation. 

The  adoption  of  Mary  Jemison  (pages  36-39)  is  an 
instance  of  family  adoption,  that  is,  of  adoption  by 
and  into  a  family.  Though  a  woman,  she  was  adopted 
to  supply  the  place  of  a  deceased  brother.  Her  ac- 
count of  her  adoption  is  possibly  the  most  intimate 
and  readable  account  known  of  an  adoption.  An- 
other instance  of  family  adoption,  this  time  of  a  male 
captive,  is  one  preserved  by  Dr.  Beauchamp  in  his 
"History  of  the  New  York  Iroquois"  (page  199). 
According  to  the  account  given,  Father  Poncet  was 


taken  prisoner  August  20,  1653,  with  another  French- 
man who  was  burned.  While  in  the  Mohawk  coun- 
try, Father  Poncet  was  adopted  by  a  widow,  and  in 
his  account  of  his  adoption,  he  says: 

"So  soon  as  I  entered  her  cabin  she  began  to  sing 
the  song  of  the  dead,  in  which  she  was  joined  by  her 
daughters.  I  was  standing  near  the  fire  during  these 
mournful  dirges;  they  made  me  sit  upon  a  sort  of 
table  slightly  raised,  and  then  I  understood  I  was 
in  the  place  of  the  dead,  for  whom  these  women  re- 
newed the  last  mourning,  to  bring  the  deceased  to  life 
again  in  my  person,  according  to  their  custom." 

Another  instance  of  family  adoption,  interesting 
and  easily  accessible,  is  that  of  Col.  James  Smith, 
1755.  (See  Drake's  "Indian  Captivities,"  Auburn, 
1851,  pages  185,  186.)  Unlike  the  preceding  in- 
stances, Colonel  Smith  was  adopted,  not  in  the  place 
of  a  deceased  person,  but  "in  the  room  and  place  of  a 
great  man."  His  adoption  was  not  into  the  Iroquois, 
but  into  the  Caughnawaga. 

These  three  instances  sufficiently  typify  family 
adoption  of  individuals.  The  ceremonies  of  adoption 
of  individuals  are  by  no  means  uniformly  the  same, 
perhaps  rarely  so,  but  whatever  the  ceremonies,  nam- 
ing ceremonies  and  ceremonies  of  welcome  are  always 
observed,  and  when  the  adoption  is  in  the  place  of  a 
deceased  person  there  will  be  a  condolence  ceremony 
by  which,  writes  Mr.  Parker  in  his  letter,  "the 
Iroquois  symbolize  the  raising  up  of  the  name-spirit 
of  the  departed  in  order  to  bestow  it  upon  the  new 
incumbent;  but  the  mental  or  soul  spirit  is  not 
awakened  in  the  dead,  great  pains  being  taken  to 
make  it  rest  in  peace." 

The  adoption  of  groups   (i.  e.,   families,  clans  or 

336  LIFE  OF 

gentes,  bands  and  tribes)  is  effected  by  national  ac- 
tion. In  his  article  on  Adoption  already  referred  to 
Mr.  Hewitt  points  out  further  that  in  the  adoption 
of  a  tribe  a  system  of  adoption  by  successive  steps 
was  developed  and  permitted,  and  he  cites  the  case  of 
the  Tuscaroras  who  were  made  successively  a  nursling, 
a  boy,  a  young  man,  a  man,  an  assistant  to  the  official 
woman  cooks,  a  warrior,  and,  lastly,  a  peer;  and 
Mr.  Hewitt  further  points  out  that  in  the  adoption  of 
a  tribe,  the  adoption  might  begin  at  an  intermediate 
step  as  it  did  in  the  case  of  the  Delaware  tribe,  the 
first  step  of  whose  adoption  was  as  assistant  cooks. 

It  is  particularly  interesting  to  note  here  that 
among  the  Indians,  after  adoption,  a  reduction  of 
grade  or  rank  was  sometimes  practiced  equally  in 
the  case  of  an  individual  and  of  a  group.  Col.  James 
Smith,  in  the  narrative  of  his  captivity  (Drake,  page 
190),  tells  how  he  was  reduced  for  two  years  from  the 
use  of  a  gun  to  the  use  of  a  bow  and  arrows;  and  in 
his  "History  of  the  New  York  Iroquois"  (page  282) 
Dr.  Beauchamp  recites  how  the  Delawares,  for  selling 
land  without  express  authorization,  were  publicly  re- 
proved by  the  Iroquois  and  sent  by  them  from  a  great 
Council  then  sitting  in  Philadelphia. 

In  the  adoption  of  male  captives,  Dr.  Beauchamp's 
view  is  that  running  the  gauntlet  had  no  essential 
connection  with  it;  that  a  man  who  had  passed  this 
ordeal  successfully  might  be  regarded  as  more  de- 
sirable, but  he  was  quite  as  likely  to  go  to  the  stake, 
it  being  simply  a  question  whether  anyone  wished  to 
adopt  him.  Of  the  gauntlet,  Mr.  Parker  writes: 

"I  should  not  say  that  the  gauntlet  was  primarily 
the  ceremony  of  adoption,  but,  as  Morgan  says,  only  a 
ceremony  of  adoption.  Indeed,  I  think  it  was  not 


Author  of  "  The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison. 


always  followed.  The  ordeal,  gauntlet  and  torture 
of  the  Iroquois  are  akin  in  psychological  origin  to  the 
triumph-marches  and  ceremonies  of  victory  of  the 
Romans.  To  please  the  people  there  were  games  and 
tortures  and  burnings  of  some  of  the  unhappy 

An  interesting  outgrowth  of  the  Indian  practice  of 
adoption  is  the  development  in  comparatively  recent 
days  of  the  system  of  complimentary  adoption.  In 
this  form  of  adoption,  apparently  the  naming  cere- 
monies and  the  rites  of  adoption  varied  with  the  tribe 
making  the  adoption  and  with  the  occasion,  that  is, 
the  person  or  persons  being  adopted.  Two  features, 
however,  were  always  present:  1st,  an  address  stating 
the  reasons  for  adopting  in  the  particular  case,  the 
clans  and  persons  adopting,  and  the  name  to  be 
given;  2d,  the  welcome,  in  which  the  candidate  is 
escorted  up  and  down  the  council  house  by  two 
chiefs,  the  chiefs  chanting  and  the  people  responding, 
though  marked  differences  in  different  cases  are  no- 
ticeable in  this  portion  of  the  ceremonial,  in  the  case 
of  Mr.  Conover,  to  be  mentioned,  the  war  song  being 
chanted.  (For  War  Song  see  page  1 68  ante.) 

There  are  two  very  notable  instances  of  compli- 
mentary adoption  into  the  Iroquois  in  which  the 
persons  adopted  have  left  records  in  detail  of  the 
ceremonies  through  which  they  passed. 

The  first  one  of  them  is  the  adoption,  October  31, 
1847,  at  the  Tonawanda  Reservation,  of  Lewis  H. 
Morgan  of  Rochester,  author  of  the  epoch-making 
book,  "The  League  of  the  Iroquois."  Along  with 
Mr.  Morgan  were  adopted  two  friends  of  his,  Thomas 
Darling  of  Auburn  and  Charles  Talbot  Porter  of 
Auburn,  later  of  Montclair,  New  Jersey.  The  name 

338  LIFE  OF 

given  to  Mr.  Morgan  was  Td-yd-dd-o-wuh-kuh,  mean- 
ing one  lying  across,  that  is,  a  bridge  or  bond  of  union 
between  the  Indians  and  the  white  men.  The  full 
record  will  be  found  in  "The  League  of  the  Iroquois," 
Volume  II,  pages  158-161  and  page  163,  edition  of  1904. 
The  second  notable  instance  is  the  adoption,  June 
15,  1885,  at  the  Cattaraugus  Reservation  in  the 
presence  of  two  hundred  Indians  or  more  of  George 
S.  Conover  of  Geneva,  author  of  "Kanadesaga  and 
Geneva,"  a  manuscript  work  in  three  volumes,  folio 
of  995  pages,  with  an  index,  folio  of  238  pages,  not  a 
formal  treatise,  but  a  great  storehouse  of  historic 
material  concerning  the  Iroquois,  the  Senecas,  their 
last  capital  Kanadesaga,  and  the  early  settlements, 
especially  in  or  about  Geneva.  In  the  case  of  Mr. 
Conover,  as  in  that  of  Mr.  Morgan,  two  friends  were 
adopted  at  the  same  time,  Mrs.  Harriet  Maxwell 
Converse  of  New  York  City  and  Frederick  H.  Furniss 
of  Waterloo.  The  name  given  Mr.  Conover  was 
Hy-we-saus,  meaning  History  Investigator,  a  name  well 
given,  for  the  industry  as  well  as  the  patience  of  Mr. 
Conover  in  historical  investigation  and  compilation 
was  simply  astounding.  He  made  altogether  six 
copies  of  his  history,  giving  them  to  the  following 
libraries:  I,  The  State  Library  (the  copy  now  de- 
stroyed perhaps  in  the  fire  of  1911);  2,  the  library 
of  the  New  York  Historical  Society;  3,  the  library  of 
the  Buffalo  Historical  Society;  4,  the  library  of  the 
Rochester  Historical  Society;  5,  the  library  of  the 
Waterloo  Historical  Society;  and,  6,  the  library  of 
Hobart  College,  Geneva,  N.  Y.  The  account  of  Mr. 
Conover's  adoption  and  the  attendant  ceremonies, 
particularly  complete  and  interesting,  will  be  found 
on  pages  968-977  of  his  work. 


In  this  connection  should  be  read  the  noticeable 
"Biography  of  Harriet  Maxwell  Converse"  prepared 
by  Mr.  A.  C.  Parker  and  prefixed  to  Mr.  Parker's 
edition  of  Mrs.  Converse's  delightful  work  "Iroquois 
Myths  and  Legends,"  published  as  Museum  Bulletin 
125  of  New  York  State  Museum.  The  adoption  of 
Mrs.  Converse  will  be  found  on  page  19  of  the  bulletin 

Replying  to  an  inquiry  by  the  Reviser  of  the  1918 
edition  about  the  resemblance  of  an  Iroquois  adoption 
ceremony  to  a  wake,  Mr.  Parker  writes: 

"  Iwould  say  that  no  such  resemblance  ever  entered 
my  mind  and  I  have  seen  the  adoption  ceremony 
several  times  and  both  the  wakes  of  the  Indians  and 
of  the  whites." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  41,  line  6.) 

The  following  memorandum  is  furnished  by  Rev. 

George  P.  Donehoo,  D.D.,  secretary  of  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Historical  Commission: 

The  mouth  of  the  Sciota  river  was  once  the  site 
of  'The  Lower  Shawnee  Town/  Peter  Chartier,  the 
famous  Shawnee  half-breed,  went  from  Chartier's 
Old  Town,  on  the  Allegheny  river  (near  the  present 
Chartiers  Station,  Westmoreland  county,  Pa.)  to  this 
place  in  1745  with  a  band  of  Shawnee  Indians.  The 
village  at  the  mouth  of  the  Sciota  was  situated  oppo- 
site the  present  Portsmouth,  Ohio.  Shortly  after  1753 
the  village  at  this  place  was  destroyed  by  a  flood. 
The  town  was  then  built  up  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Ohio.  George  Croghan,  William  Trent,  and  other 
Indian  traders  had  trading  houses  at  this  place. 
Croghan's  large  store  at  this  place  was  destroyed  by 

34o  LIFE  OF 

the  French  and  Indians  in  1754.  In  1758  many  of 
the  Shawnee  moved  to  the  region  of  Chillicothe. 
On  Hutchin's  map  of  1778  the  town  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Sciota  is  marked,  'Old  Lower  Shawnee  Town/ 
Traces  of  this  village  were  still  visible  in  1820." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

46.    "SCIOTA"   OR   "SdOTO." 

(Page  41,  line  u.) 

Of  this  Indian  name,  the  preferred  orthography  to- 
day is  Scioto,  but  in  the  early  part  of  the  last  century 
there  appears  to  have  been  a  divided  usage,  Sciota 
and  Scioto.  It  is  worthy  of  notice  that  in  the  original 
printed  versions  of  the  two  most  famous  of  narratives 
of  Indian  captivities,  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison" 
and  "The  Adventures  of  Colonel  James  Smith,"  the 
form  Sciota  is  found. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

47.  SPRING  OF  1759. 

(Page  41,  line  20.) 

The  spring  in  which  Mary's  party  returned  to  the 
mouth  of  the  river  Shenanjee  was  that  of  1759. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  41,  foot-note.) 

The  suggestion  by  Dr.  Seaver  of  an  armistice,  while 
it  attests  Dr.  Seaver's  constant  courtesy  towards 
Mrs.  Jemison  and  her  statements,  is  apparently  with- 
out foundation.  The  facts  regarding  the  passing  of 
Fort  DuQuesne  and  the  building  of  Fort  Pitt  as 
stated  by  Daniel  Agnew,  LL.D.,  in  his  pamphlet, 
entitled  "Fort  Pitt,"  are  as  follows: 


"The  French,  being  hard  pressed  by  the  English 
under  General  Forbes,  evacuated  Fort  DuQuesne 
November  24,  1758,  setting  fire  to  it  and  leaving  it 
largely  in  ruin.  Fort  Pitt,  erected  by  the  English 
after  the  destruction  of  Fort  DuQuesne,  was  not 
commenced  till  September  10,  1759,  and  not  finished 
till  March  21,  1760.  Meanwhile,  in  December,  1758, 
a  small  square  stockade  with  bastions  was  erected  by 
the  English  near  the  bank  of  the  Monongahela 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  42,  foot-note.) 

Dr.  Seaver  is  in  error  here.  Mary  Jemison's  in- 
sistence that  her  abduction  by  the  Indians  took  place 
in  1755  instead  of  1758,  the  actual  date,  is  undoubt- 
edly one  of  the  causes  of  Dr.  Seaver' s  failure  to  obtain 
information  of  the  summons  sent  out  by  the  British 
immediately  after  the  fall  of  Fort  DuQuesne  for  the 
Indians  to  come  up  to  Fort  Pitt  to  make  peace  with 
them;  but  it  is  improbable  that  in  1823  Dr.  Seaver 
would  have  been  able  to  find  in  any  historical  reference 
book  or  in  any  history  then  current  an  account  of 
Colonel  Croghan's  Pittsburgh  Conference  with  the 
Indians  in  July,  1759.  It  could  have  been  learned 
only  from  some  source  book  or  from  Government  or 
Colonial  archives.  The  original  account  of  this  con- 
ference appears  in  the  "Minutes  of  the  Provincial 
Council  of  Pennsylvania"  (Colonial  Records  of 
Pennsylvania,  Volume  VIII,  page  383)  which  were 
first  published  by  the  State  in  1852,  when  they  be- 
came easily  accessible.  Meetings  of  this  conference 
were,  as  it  appears,  held  every  day,  July  4th  to  J  uly 
9th,  and  on  July  nth,  The  principal  conference  was 

342  LIFE  OF 

on  the  9th.  The  Six  Nations  were  represented  by 
Tagauusaday  and  Guyusuday,  chiefs,  and  by  Grand- 
ondawe  and  sixteen  warriors.  The  Delawares  had 
many  more  representatives  than  any  other  Indian 
nation.  During  the  time  of  the  conference  there  were 
near  five  hundred  Indians  present.  The  number  of 
"conferences"  held  with  the  Indians  during  the 
French  and  Indian  War  and  in  the  Revolutionary 
period  was  great. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

50.  THE  WINTER  OF  1759-1760. 

(Page  43,  line  i?0 

The  winter  referred  to  in  the  text  is  that  of  1759- 
1760. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  43,  foot-note.) 

For  a  discussion  favoring  the  second  of  the  two 
sites  named  by  Dr.  Seaver  in  his  foot-note,  see  note 
No.  60.  Unfortunately,  as  suggested  in  the  note  to 
which  attention  is  directed,  nothing  satisfactorily  de- 
finitive and  final  can  be  obtained  from  the  word 
Wi-ish-to  itself.  Authorities  differ  as  to  whether 
Wi-ish-to  is  a  Seneca  name  or  a  Delaware  name  and 
what  in  any  event  its  precise  meaning  is.  Assuming 
that  Wi-ish-to  is  an  Iroquois  name,  the  author  of 
"Aboriginal  Place  Names  of  New  York"  suggests 
that  Wi-ish-to  is  a  corruption  of  Wa-es-ta,  meaning, 
according  to  Zeisberger,  to  sting,  to  beat  and  hammer; 
while  Dr.  Donehoo,  the  author  of  "The  History  of 
the  Indian  Place  Names  of  Pennsylvania,"  assuming 
that  Wi-ish-to  is  a  Delaware  name,  suggests  that  it 
is  a  corruption  of  Delaware  We-wunt-schi,  or,  according 


to  Brinton,  We-wun-dach-qui,  meaning  opposite  or  on 
both  sides. 

The  identification  of  Wi-ish-to  with  the  Delaware 
We-wunt-sM  furnishes  no  ground  for  a  choice  between 
the  two  sites  suggested  by  Dr.  Seaver,  but  merely 
marks  the  presence  of  the  characteristic  declared  by 
him  to  be  common  to  both  sites.  The  identification 
with  Iroquoian  Wa-es-to,  however,  connects  the  site 
with  Swan  Creek,  possibly  through  the  presence 
across  the  river  of  a  pre-historic  city  and  strange  im- 
plements conserved,  or  possibly  by  the  rem.arkable 
Hanging  Rock  impending  from'  the  heights  of  the 
river  bank  as  conceivably  a  hammer  in  the  sky. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  44,  line  6.) 

Captain  Little  Billy  and  Captain  Little  Billy's 
uncle  are  of  course  different  persons.  In  his  "List  of 
Senecas"  Dr.  Beauchamp  says: 

"Jishgege,  or  Josh  Kanga  as  in  the  treaty  of  1826, 
the  Katydid,  was  also  Little  Billy,  often  called  the 
War  Chief.  He  died  in  Buffalo,  December  28,  1834, 
and  has  been  highly  eulogized.  He  was  called 
Jishkaaga,  Green  Grasshopper,  in  1794.  He  signed  a 
letter  in  1790,  the  treaties  of  1815  and  1826,  and 
witnessed  the  Cayuga  treaty  of  1807.  In  the  treaty 
of  1802  he  is  called  Green  Grass  or  Little  Billy  and 
appears  as  Chescaqua  in  1794  at  Buffalo.  He  also 
signed  the  Tuscarora  grant  of  1808.  He  was  re- 
interred  with  Red  Jacket  in  1884." 

To  this  statement  Dr.  Beauchamp  adds: 

"Though  Captain  Little  Billy  died  at  Buffalo 
Creek,  he  probably  lived  in  the  Genesee  Valley  at 

344  LIFE  OF 

one  time,  perhaps  at  Gd-neh-dd-on-tweh.  There  is  a 
story,  which  I  do  not  credit,  that  Captain  Little  Billy 
was  a  guide  to  George  Washington  in  one  of  his  early 
expeditions.  If  born  before  1762,  Captain  Little 
Billy  must  then  have  been  very  young." 

Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker  of  the  State  Museum  writes 

"Little  Billy,  or  Great  Green  Grasshopper,  was  a 
captain  in  the  war  of  1812  and  led  a  band  of  Indians 
against  the  British  in  several  of  the  engagements  on 
the  Niagara  frontier.  Further,  our  New  York  State 
Indians  declared  themselves  allies  of  the  United 
States  and  fought  with  General  Scott  and  General 
Porter  under  their  own  colonels  and  captains,  acquit- 
ting themselves  with  great  credit." 

Of  Captain  Little  Billy's  uncle  practically  nothing 
is  known  except  what  is  here  stated  by  Mary  Jemison. 
Dr.  Beauchamp  feels  confident,  however,  that  he 
lived  and  died  at  Ga-neh-da-on-tweh;  that  his  name 
is  not  known  and  apparently  was  not  known  by 
Mary  Jemison  herself.  But  details  as  to  Captain 
Little  Billy's  uncle  would  be  of  slight  importance 
except  for  the  statement  by  Mary  Jemison  farther  on 
that  he  and  his  bride  after  a  bridal  tour  to  the  States 
among  the  bride's  friends  returned  to  Can-a-ah-tua 
where  he  died.  This  may  mean  one  of  two  things. 
Can-a-ah-tua  may  be  Captain  Little  Billy's  uncle's 
presumed  home  in  the  Genesee  Valley,  and  his  going 
there  would  in  that  case  be  a  return  to  his  home.  Sup- 
porting this  view  is  Dr.  Beauchamp's  opinion  that 
the  name  Can-a-ah-tua  is  Seneca  in  origin  being  a  con- 
traction of  Gd-neh-dd-on-tweh^  Morgan's  name  for 
the  Seneca  village  on  the  site  of  Moscow,  N.  Y.,  in 
the  Genesee  Valley.  On  the  other  hand,  Can-a-ah-tua 


may  be  the  name  used  by  the  Delawares  for  the  town 
which  the  Senecas  built  at  Wi-ish-to  and  afterwards 
shared  with  them,  and  in  this  case  Captain  Little 
Billy's  uncle  would  return  to  the  place  of  his  marriage, 
and  quite  naturally,  the  bride  being  a  Delaware  by 
adoption.  Confirmatory  of  this  view  is  Dr.  Donehoo's 
suggestion  that  the  name  Can-a-ah-tua  is  a  later  form 
of  Delaware  Ca-na-wa-uteney,  meaning  Conoy  Town, 
an  earlier  town  in  this  vicinity  and  possibly  within 
the  very  limits  of  the  locality  known  as  Wi-ish-to. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

53.  "!N  THE  STATES." 

(Page  44,  line  7.) 

This  phrase,  "in  the  states,"  could  not  have  been 
current  in  1760,  the  date  of  this  bridal  tour,  but  was 
very  common,  especially  among  the  English,  in  1823 
when  Mary  Jemison  dictated  her  life. — Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  44,  line  15.) 

Among  the  Indians  the  women  were  not  always 
thus  ignored  in  the  selection  of  their  husbands.  See 
note  closing  the  appendix  on  Courtships  on  page  171. 
—  Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  44,  line  18.) 

Mary  Jemison  was  married  to  Sheninjee  in  the 
summer  of  1760,  being  then  at  least  seventeen  years  of 
age.  Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker  writes  that  it  is  not  un- 

common among  the  Iroquois  for  girls  of  fourteen  or 

346  LIFE  OF 

fifteen  years  of  age  to  marry,  but  that  marriages  are 
usually  made  at  a  later  period,  between  sixteen  and 
twenty. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  44,  line  19.) 

Dr.  Seaver's  "Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  shows  that 
Mary  Jemison  had  two  husbands  and  eight  children, 
two  children  by  the  first  husband  and  six  children 
by  the  second  husband.  The  narrative  further  shows 
that  the  first  husband  was  a  Delaware  Indian  of 
prominence  by  the  name  of  Sheninjee  to  whom  she 
was  married  at  Wiishto,  a  few  miles  below  Gallipolis 
on  the  Ohio;  and  that  the  second  husband  was  a 
Seneca  chief  by  the  name  of  Hiokatoo,  to  whom  she 
was  married  in  the  Genesee  country.  These  facts  in 
the  family  history  of  Mary  Jemison  are  unquestioned: 
but  the  chronology  of  Mary  Jemison's  two  marriages 
and  of  the  births  and  deaths  of  her  children  as  given 
in  Dr.  Seaver's  "Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  is  continu- 
ously in  error  if  the  date  in  any  instance  is  determined 
directly  or  indirectly  by  Mary  Jemison's  own  date  of 
her  abduction  by  the  Indians,  which  event  she 
placed  in  the  spring  of  1755,  whereas  recent  investiga- 
tions show  that  the  actual  date  was  April  5,  1758. 
(See  note  No.  14.)  An  instance  of  a  date  not  affected 
by  Mary  Jemison's  belief  as  to  the  date  of  her  abduc- 
tion is,  for  example,  her  statement  that  Jane,  one  of 
her  daughters,  died  a  little  before  the  great  Council 
at  Big  Tree,  aged  about  fifteen  years.  (Page  62.) 
As  the  council  referred  to  was  held  in  1797  and  Jane 
was  then  about  fifteen,  the  date  of  Jane's  birth  was 
1782.  This  date  cannot  conceivably  be  affected  by 


theories  as  to  the  date  of  Mary  Jemison's  abduction. 
The  object  of  this  note  is  to  give  the  results  of  an 
extended  examination  of  the  Mary  Jemison  family 
chronology  in  the  light  of  historic  events  appearing 
in  her  narrative  or  having  a  known  connection  with 
it.  The  several  dates  in  this  note  are  recorded  with- 
out being  discussed  except  as  far  as  necessary  to  keep 
the  story  intelligible.  Verification  of  the  results  ar- 
rived at  is  easy  and  certain  if  one  has  the  patience  to 
go  through  the  details  and  check  up  by  historic  events 
appearing  in  the  narrative.  Such  an  examination 
shows  that  Dr.  Seaver's  compliment  (Introduction, 
page  xi)  to  the  recollection  and  memory  of  Mary 
Jemison  is  unnecessarily  reserved.  It  is  thought 
that  the  various  notes  appearing  in  their  proper 
place  in  this  volume  will  support  this  conclusion. 

Mary  Jemison  s  Two  Marriages. 

Mary  Jemison's  first  marriage,  the  marriage  to 
Sheninjee,  took  place  in  the  summer  of  1760,  after 
two  winters,  1758-9  and  1759-60,  spent  on  the  Scioto, 
as  related  by  her  (page  44).  Her  second  marriage, 
the  marriage  to  Hiokatoo,  took  place  in  1765  or  1766, 
when  her  son  Thomas,  born  1762,  was,  as  she  states, 
three  or  four  years  old  (page  62). 

Mary  Jemison's  Two  Children  by  Sheninjee. 

The  first  child  borne  by  Mary  Jemison  to  Sheninjee 
was  a  daughter  who  lived  only  two  days.  This 
daughter  was  born  in  the  second  summer  of  Mary 
Jemison's  living  at  Wiishto,  1761  (page  45),  "at  the 
time  the  kernels  of  corn  first  appeared  on  the  cob," 
that  is,  probably,  in  the  month  of  June  or  early  in 

348  LIFE  OF 

July.  The  second  child  borne  to  Sheninjee  was  a  son, 
Thomas,  born  at  Scioto  "the  following  winter,"  1762, 
that  is,  the  winter  following  the  birth  of  the  daughter 
(page  45).  Thomas  was  killed  by  his  half  brother, 
John,  son  of  Hiokatoo,  in  1811  (page  99),  and  was, 
therefore,  at  the  time  he  was  killed  forty-nine  years 
of  age.  This  necessitates  the  correction  of  Mary 
Jemison's  statement  (page  102)  that  Thomas  was 
fifty-two  years  old  when  killed  by  John.  It  is  to  be 
noted  that  Mary  Jemison's  error  here  is  three  years, 
the  same  as  her  error  as  to  the  date  of  her  abduction. 

Sons  Borne  to  Hiokatoo  by  Mary  Jemison. 

In  the  list  of  children  borne  to  Hiokatoo  by  Mary 
Jemison  (page  62)  two  sons  are  mentioned,  respec- 
tively, John  and  Jesse.  The  date  of  birth  of  the  first 
of  these,  John,  the  evil  genius  of  the  family,  is  not 
directly  given,  but  (page  102)  Mary  Jemison  says 
John  was  forty-eight  years  of  age  when  in  1811  he 
killed  Thomas,  but  this  would  make  John  to  have  been 
born  two  years  before  the  marriage  of  Mary  Jemison 
to  his  father,  Hiokatoo.  Assuming  that  the  cause  of 
error  here  is  Mary  Jemison's  mistake,  three  years,  as 
to  the  date  of  her  abduction,  the  date  of  John's  birth 
becomes  1766 — a  date  which  reconciles  itself  with  the 
facts  in  the  case  collectively,  raising  a  presumption, 
however,  that  the  marriage  of  Mary  Jemison  to 
Hiokatoo  actually  took  place  in  1765  when  Thomas 
was  three  years  old  (page  62),  and  not  in  1766  when 
Thomas  was  four  years  old.  John  was  killed  in  1817 
(page  127),  about  the  month  of  June.  The  date  of 
birth  of  the  other  son,  Jesse,  the  tenderly  beloved  of 
his  mother,  is  given  inferentially  on  page  121  where 


speaking  of  the  death  of  Jesse  in  1812,  Mary  Jemison 
says,  "Jesse  was  twenty-seven  or  twenty-eight  years 
old  when  he  was  killed;  that  is,  Jesse's  date  of  birth 
was  1784  or  1785. 

Daughters  Borne  to  Hiokatoo  by  Mary  Jemison. 

According  to  the  list,  page  62,  four  daughters  were 
borne  to  Hiokatoo  by  Mary  Jemison,  respectively 
Jane,  Nancy,  Betsey,  Polly. 

Though  named  first  in  the  list,  Jane  is  known  to 
have  been  the  latest  born.  Her  birth  took  place, 
as  we  have  seen,  in  1782:  her  priority  of  mention  is 
presumably  a  mark  of  respect.  She  had  been  dead 
many  years  when  the  narrative  was  dictated  to  Dr. 
Seaver  in  1823.  Polly,  mentioned  on  page  143  as 
the  youngest  of  three  daughters  then  living  (1823), 
is  by  the  statement  the  third  daughter  borne  by  Mary 
Jemison  to  Hiokatoo,  and  it  remains  merely  to  settle 
the  order  of  precedence  between  the  two  other 
daughters,  Nancy  and  Betsey. 

In  genealogical  enumerations,  the  natural  and  cus- 
tomary order  of  mention  is  the  order  of  birth  and  it  is 
to  be  observed  that  in  both  lists  given  by  Mary 
Jemison  (page  62  and  page  143),  Nancy  is  named 
ahead  of  Betsey. 

This  order  of  birth,  making  Nancy  the  elder,  is 
signally  confirmed  by  a  memorandum  left  by  Dr. 
Letchworth  among  his  papers  but  not  hitherto  pub- 
lished. The  memorandum  is  of  a  statement  by  Dr. 
James  Shongo,  grandson  of  Mary  Jemison,  and  is 
dated  July  15,  1873.  In  this  statement  Dr.  Shongo 
says  with  interesting  particularity: 


"My  father  married  Polly  Jemison  who  lived  in 
the  second  house  from  the  slide  with  her  mother,  the 
*  White  Woman.'  Nancy  lived  in  the  first  house 
from  the  slide.  She  was  the  oldest.  Betsey  was  the 
next  younger.  She  lived  in  the  third  house  from  the 
slide.  The  old  house  that  she  lived  in  is  there  now." 

This  statement  should  be  conclusive  for  it  is  in- 
conceivable that  an  intelligent  person  like  Dr.  Shongo, 
living  for  years  next  door  neighbor  to  two  aunts, 
should  not  know  which  way  the  balance  of  age  lay 
between  them,  and  it  may  be  confidently  assumed  that 
of  the  two  sisters,  Nancy  was  the  elder,  and  Betsey 
the  younger. 

Further  the  fact  itself  well  known  that  the  lot  given 
to  Nancy  was  more  desirable  than  the  one  given  to 
Betsey,  suggests  that  Nancy  was  the  elder  daughter. 

The  question  of  seniority  between  Nancy  and  Betsey 
depends  principally  for  its  importance  on  this,  that 
in  the  1842  edition  of  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison," 
the  writer,  Ebenezer  Mix,  without  disclosing  in  any 
way  his  reasons  for  his  statement,  makes  Betsey  the 
elder  and  Nancy  the  younger,  reversing  Mary  Jemi- 
son's  order.  It  is  hardly  worth  while  to  conjecture 
how  Mr.  Mix  came  to  make  this  mistake,  though  it  is 
sincerely  to  be  regretted  that  the  mistake  was  made 
and  particularly  that  it  has  been  perpetuated  in  all 
succeeding  editions  of  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison" 
to  the  present  edition. 

It  has  already  been  shown  that  the  date  of  birth  of 
the  fourth  daughter,  Jane,  was  1782. 

The  birth  of  the  third  daughter,  Polly,  took  place 
either  before  1779  or  early  in  that  year,  for  on  page 
73  of  her  life,  Mary  Jemison  represents  herself  as 
fleeing  in  November,  1779,  towards  Buffalo  before 


General  Sullivan's  advance  accompanied  by  her  five 
children,  and  her  family  could  not  at  that  time  have 
numbered  five  children  unless  Polly  had  already  been 
born.  In  this  flight  towards  Buffalo  Mary  Jemison 
says  she  carried  one  of  her  children  on  her  back. 
Sullivan  ceased  his  pursuit  of  the  Senecas  and  then 
Mary  Jemison  represents  herself  as  changing  her 
plans  (page  74)  and  going  with  her  five  children  to  the 
Gardow  Flats,  carrying  two  of  her  little  ones  on  her 
back.  These  two  statements  definitely  fix  the  date 
of  Polly's  birth  as  either  before  1779  or  early  in  that 

As  to  the  date  of  the  second  daughter,  Betsey,  the 
narrative  is  silent,  but  as  the  general  sense  of  the 
narrative  permits  the  inference  that  Betsey  was  the 
second  daughter,  the  date  of  her  birth  is,  of  course, 
after  the  birth  of  Nancy  and  before  the  birth  of  Polly. 

As  to  the  first  daughter,  Nancy,  the  date  of  her 
birth  appears  on  page  67  as  May,  1776,  but  if  allow- 
ance is  to  be  made  here  for  the  initial  error  of  three 
years  with  which  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison  begins, 
that  is,  Mary  Jemison's  error  as  to  the  date  of  her 
abduction,  the  date  of  birth  of  Nancy  becomes  1773 — 
a  date  which  permits  Nancy  to  be  the  eldest  daughter, 
and  Polly  to  be  born  before  or  early  in  1779,  two  con- 
ditions that  must  be  satisfied  if  essential  facts  are  to 
be  left  as  Mary  Jemison  apparently  dictated  them. 
The  inference  is  so  incontrovertible  in  the  Mary 
Jemison  legend  that  Nancy  was  the  eldest  and  that 
Polly,  the  youngest,  was  born  before  or  early  in  1779, 
that  it  is  not  worth  while  to  attempt  to  clear  up  the 
historic  confusion  which  shows  itself  on  page  67, 
especially  as  no  one  claims  that  Mary  Jemison  made  no 
historic  mistakes  in  her  narrative,  while  every  one 

352  LIFE  OF 

wonders  that  she  made  so  few.  For  a  striking  in- 
stance of  the  historic  confusion  seen  on  this  page 
(67)  it  is  to  be  noted  that  after  mentioning  that  her 
daughter  Nancy  was  born  this  year,  1776,  the  story 
continues:  "The  same  year"  (1776,  of  course),  "at 
Cherry  Valley,  our  Indians  took  a  woman  and  her 
three  daughters  prisoners."  As  the  reference  here  is 
unquestionably  to  the  capture  of  Mrs.  John  Moore 
and  her  three  daughters,  an  event  that  took  place 
November  II,  1778,  the  thoughtful  reader  will  be 
content  to  note  that  a  mistake  has  been  made  by 
Mary  Jemison  and  will  console  himself  with  the  re- 
mark of  a  writer  not  unskilled  as  a  historian,  that  it  is 
impossible  to  write  history  and  make  no  mistakes. 

Ebenezer  Mix's  Statement. 

On  pages  167  and  168  of  the  eighth  (Batavia,  1842) 
edition  of  Seaver's  "Life  of  Mary  Jemison,"  its 
editor,  Ebenezer  Mix,  says:  "Mrs.  Jemison's  three 
children,  Betsey,  Nancy  and  Polly,  who  survived  her 
all  died  in  the  short  space  of  three  months,  in  the 
autumn  of  1839,  aged  respectively  69,  63,  and  58 
years."  There  is  no  reason  for  calling  in  question 
the  interesting  fact  mentioned  by  Mr.  Mix  that  all 
three  sisters  died  in  the  autumn  of  1839  as  he  writes 
of  a  fact  that  must  have  lain  within  his  personal 
knowledge;  but  the  dates  of  birth  resultant  from  Mr. 
Mix's  statement,  to  wit:  Betsey,  1770;  Nancy,  1776; 
Polly,  1781,  are  open  to  question.  As  we  have  seen, 
1781  is  an  impossible  date  of  birth  for  Polly,  but  if  the 
date  is  corrected  for  the  initial  error  of  three  years 
as  to  Mary  Jemison's  date  of  abduction,  Polly's  date 
(1778)  becomes  acceptable.  So  also  the  date  given 


The  missionary  who  described  Mary  Jemison's  last  day: 


for  Nancy  (1776)  is  the  date  named  by  Mary  Jemison, 
and  corrected  for  Mary  Jemison's  initial  error  is  freed 
as  previously  mentioned,  from  objection.  But  1770 
as  the  date  of  Betsey's  birth  is  certainly  all  wrong. 
It  has  been  pointed  out  that  the  internal  evidence  of 
the  legend  is  that  as  between  Nancy  and  Betsey, 
Nancy  is  the  elder,  and  it  will  be  time  enough  to 
reverse  the  statement  when  the  grounds  come  to  light 
on  which  Mr.  Mix  makes  his  revolutionary  averment. 
It  is  incomprehensible  why  Mr.  Mix  made  no  ex- 
planation of  his  departure  from  the  natural  sense  of 
the  legend.  It  is  further  worthy  of  note  that  the 
traditions  of  the  vicinage  are  that  Nancy  and  Betsey 
were  near  each  other  in  age  and  their  mother  records 
that  Nancy  and  Betsey  each  had,  at  the  time  she 
dictated  her  narrative,  seven  children;  but  if  there 
was  a  difference  of  six  years  in  their  age,  this  parity 
in  parentage,  that  is,  in  the  number  of  their  offspring, 
would  be  less  expected. 


Briefly,   the   dates   of  birth   and   death   of  Mary 
Jemison's  children  are  as  follows: 

1.  The  unnamed  daughter,  born  in  1761;    died  two 

days  later. 

2.  Thomas,  born  in  1762;   killed  by  half  brother  in 


3.  John,  born  in  1766;   killed  in  1817. 

4:  Nancy,  date  of  birth  uncertain,  but  possibly  in 
1776  or  more  likely  in  1773;  died  in  1839. 

5.  Betsey,  date  of  birth  uncertain,  but  presumably 
later  than  Nancy  and  earlier  than  Polly;  died 
in  1839. 

354  LIFE  OF 

6.  Polly,  date  of  t>irth  before  or  early  in  1779;   died 

in  1839. 

7.  Jane,  born  in  1782;  died  in  1797. 

8.  Jesse,  born  in  1784  or  1785;    killed  by  brother  in 


— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  44.  line  19.) 

The  following  memorandum  is  by  the  archaeologist 
of  the  New  York  State  Museum,  Mr.  Arthur  C. 

"With  reference  to  Mary  Jemison's  having  married 
according  to  Indian  custom,  a  short  description  of  the 
custom  referred  to  may  be  found  in  my  bulletin  on 
the  Code  of  Handsome  Lake.  The  custom  was  for 
the  mothers  of  each  party  to  the  marriage  to  call  a 
meeting  of  each  clan  to  which  the  contracting  parties 
belonged,  to  provide  one  of  the  religious  instructors  to 
preach  a  sermon  to  the  young  couple,  then  the 
matrons  of  the  tribe,  especially  the  faith  keepers 
would  make  certain  ritualistic  admonitions  and 
finally  the  couple  was  pronounced  married  and  a 
feast  ensued.  Under  the  old  customs  there  was 
always  this  little  council  and  I  am  told  by  some  of 
the  older  people  that  upon  announcing  the  two  were 
married  the  bride  flung  her  braids,  which  were  tied 
at  the  ends,  as  a  loop  over  her  husband's  head. 
There  were  also  games  and  little  folk  ceremonies  held 
at  these  weddings.  Since  the  old  days  the  marriage 
ceremony  has  degenerated  considerably  and  in  many 
cases  the  pagans  of  New  York  simply  marry  by 
mutual  consent  without  the  formality  of  even  a 
registration.  This  custom,  however,  is  now  regulated 
by  more  rigid  state  laws." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



(Page  45,  line  5.) 

Mary  Jemison's  first  child  was  born  in  1761,  pre- 
sumably in  June  or  early  in  July,  when  usually  the 
kernels  of  corn  first  appear  on  the  cob. — Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  45,  line  17.) 

Mr.  A.  C.  Parker,  New  York  State  archaeologist, 
furnishes  the  following  memorandum  in  answer  to  an 

"It  has  long  been  the  custom  among  the  Indians 
for  the  mother  to  stay  outside  the  house  for  some 
time  previous  to  and  after  the  birth  of  her  child. 
This  custom  prevailed,  not  only  among  the  Senecas, 
but  among  nearly  all  the  tribes  of  the  country. 
There  were  sometimes  little  cabins  built  especially 
for  such  purposes  and  they  usually  were  on  the  out- 
skirts of  the  village.  There  was  a  ceremonial  reason 
for  this  as  well  as  a  belief  that  a  certain  time  must 
expire  before  purification  was  complete.  This  idea 
is  common  among  most  primitive  people.  No  gun, 
bow,  arrow,  fresh  meat,  or  man  must  be  touched 
by  a  woman  in  a  periodic  condition  or  when  a  woman 
is  'unpurified*  just  before  and  after  childbirth.  The 
contact  would  'spoil'  the  chances  of  hunting  game 
and  cause  eruptions  on  a  man's  face.  This  is  the 
Seneca  idea."  — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  45,  line  29.) 

During  her  four  years  in  southern  Ohio  (1758-1762) 
Mary  Jemison  had  three  homes — two  summer  homes 
and  one  winter  home.  Her  first  summer  home,  cover- 

356  LIFE  OF 

ing  the  summers  of  1758  and  1759,  was  the  "small 
Seneca  Indian  town"  which  she  describes  as  at  the 
mouth  of  the  river  Shenanjee.  Her  second  summer 
home,  covering  the  summers  of  1760  and  1761  and 
the  earlier  part  of  the  summer  of  1762,  was  at  a 
locality  which  the  Indians  called  Wiishto.  The  four 
winters  in  southern  Ohio  she  spent  on  the  banks  of 
the  Scioto  at  or  near  the  mouth  of  that  river,  in  what 
she  styles  "winter  quarters." 

The  precise  location  of  the  several  summer  homes 
of  Mary  Jemison  is  uncertain.  Dr.  Seaver,  who  took 
down  and  edited  Mary  Jemison's  life,  examined  the 
question  of  their  geographical  location  with  great 
thoroughness  and  also  with  great  credit  to  himself  in 
view  of  the  fact  that  his  researches  were  made  in 
1823.  In  regard  to  each  home  he  found  two  locations 
that  answered  geographically  Mary  Jemison's  descrip- 
tion as  to  its  most  characteristic  mark. 

With  regard  to  the  site  of  the  "small  Seneca  Indian 
town"  Mary  Jemison's  characteristic  mark  is  (see 
page  40)  that  the  town  was  on  the  Ohio  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Shenanjee  where  another  river  emptied  into 
the  Ohio  directly  opposite,  and  it  further  appears  from 
the  narrative  that  this  town  was  one  day's  journey 
down  the  Ohio.  Dr.  Seaver  pointed  out  that  these 
conditions  were  filled  by  each  of  two  different  creeks — 
Cross  Creek  and  Short  Creek,  the  latter  being  a  few 
miles  below  the  former.  The  explanatory  point  to  be 
emphasized  is  that  in  the  case  of  each  creek  named, 
the  creek  exists  on  each  side  of  the  Ohio,  there  being 
two  Cross  creeks  and  two  Short  creeks,  the  two 
Cross  creeks  debouching  into  the  Ohio  "directly  op- 
posite" each  other,  and  the  two  Short  creeks  doing 
the  same.  This  peculiarity  shows  itself  in  the  maps 


of  the  United  States  Topographical  Survey  and  in  the 
celebrated  map  in  Governor  Pownall's  "Topograph- 
ical Description"  published  in  London  in  1776,  and 
it  may  be  seen  in  any  map  entering  into  details. 
At  this  point  Dr.  Seaver  was  stopped  from  any  closer 
placing  of  the  "small  Seneca  Indian  town,"  no  con- 
firmatory historical  data  being  then  accessible  to  him. 
But  since  Dr.  Seaver's  time  (1823)  through  Govern- 
ment and  State  publications  and  through  publications 
of  historical  societies  and  of  individuals,  an  immense 
volume  of  historical  data  has  been  made  easily  ac- 
cessible. It  is  now  well  known  that  in  the  eighteenth 
century  there  was  in  the  northeast  section  of  the 
junction  of  Cross  Creek  and  the  Ohio  River  a  "small 
Seneca  Indian  town"  commonly  called  Mingo  Town. 
Captain  Harry  Gordon  in  his  "Journal"  published  in 
1776  as  a  part  of  Governor  Pownall's  "Topographical 
Description"  speaks  of  Mingo  Town  and  in  his  table 
of  distances  of  places  on  the  Ohio  from  Fort  Pitt, 
gives  the  distance  of  Mingo  Town  as  71  ^  miles. 
It  is  also  well  known,  on  Colonel  Croghan's  authority, 
that  at  Fort  Pitt,  April  14,  1765,  about  eighty  Seneca 
Indians  came  up  from  their  town  at  the  Two  Creeks 
(Minutes  Provincial  Council  of  Pa.,  Volume  IX,  page 
252);  and  in  his  "Journal"  the  same  authority  states 
that  Mingo  Town  was  inhabited  chiefly  by  the 
Senecas,  called  with  others  of  the  Six  Nations, 
"Mingoes"  (Darlington's  "Christopher  Gist's  Jour- 
nals," page  190).  The  U.  S.  Topographical  Survey 
shows  on  the  proper  sheet  the  location  of  this  town 
under  the  designation  "Mingo  Junction." 

The  site  of  the  "small  Seneca  Indian  Town,"  if 
the  same  as  Mingo  Town,  was  about  three  miles  below 
the  present  Steubenville,  Ohio, 

358  LIFE  OF 

With  regard  to  the  site  of  the  other  summer  home, 
Mary  Jemison's  geographical  characteristic  is  that 
at  this  place  "one  river  emptied  into  the  Ohio  on  one 
side,  and  another  on  the  other,"  a  characteristic  that 
does  not  necessarily  imply  direct  opposition  of  de- 
bouchment of  the  two  rivers.  The  distance,  how- 
ever, of  this  second  summer  home  above  the  mouth  of 
the  Scioto  River  is  not  stated  in  the  text,  though 
probably  Mary  Jemison  gave  Dr.  Seaver  the  benefit 
of  her  impression.  Here  again,  Dr.  Seaver  found,  as 
his  note  shows,  two  sites  answering  the  condition 
mentioned  by  Mary  Jemison:  Guyandot  River,  327 
miles  below  Pittsburgh,  and  Swan  Creek,  307  miles 
below  (see  his  note  page  43).  A  careful  study  of  the 
maps  of  the  U.  S.  Topographical  Survey  would  prob- 
ably create  in  any  mind  from  the  geography  alone  a 
more  or  less  distinct  impression  in  favor  of  the  Swan 
Creek  site,  but  as  Dr.  Seaver  in  1823  could  not  have 
had  geographical  evidence  of  that  value  before  him, 
he  was  justified  in  leaving  the  question  an  open  one. 
In  the  settlement  of  the  site  of  the  "little  Seneca 
Indian  Town"  there  were  historical  data  that  could 
be  appealed  to,  but  such  recourse  is  wanting  in  fixing 
the  Wiishto  locality.  Were  it  possible,  however,  to 
ascertain  the  exact  meaning  of  the  word  Wiishto, 
which  is  thought  by  some  who  are  apparently  well 
equipped  to  give  an  opinion  to  be  hopelessly  corrupt 
in  form,  it  is  not  improbable  that  interesting  evidence 
might  be  secured  to  assist  in  determining  the  geo- 
graphical whereabout  of  Wiishto.  (See  note  No.  51.) 

It  is,  however,  something  to  be  certain  that  origin- 
ally Wiishto  was  quite  surely  a  locality  and  not  a 
town  or  village.  The  precise  words  of  Mary  Jemison 
are:  "We  sailed  up  the  Ohio  to  a  place  that  the  Indians 


called  Wiishto.  At  that  place  the  Indians  (i.  e.,  the 
men  of  the  party)  built  a  town  and  we  (i.  e.,  the  women 
of  the  party)  planted  corn."  This  language  cer- 
tainly justifies  the  position  that  Wiishto  is  to  be  re- 
garded in  Mary  Jemison's  narrative  as  a  locality, 
though  later  the  name  was  perhaps  given  to  the  town 
the  party  built  there.  The  site  of  this  locality  may 
remain,  as  far  as  the  interpretation  of  the  name  goes, 
in  doubt,  but  the  locality  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Swan  Creek  is,  on  its  merits,  attractive  enough  to 
have  suggested  to  the  Mary  Jemison  party  the  de- 
sirability of  making  there  their  new  summer  home. 
For  nearly  opposite  Swan  Creek  is  a  beautiful  small 
river,  Guyan  Creek  or  the  little  Guyandot,  and  the 
river  bottoms  north  and  south  are  among  the  finest 
and  best  on  the  Ohio  River,  to  the  north  Mercer's 
bottom  and  to  the  south  the  famous  Green's  bottom, 
the  site  of  a  prehistoric  city — lands  so  fertile  that  the 
Indian  women  had  little  more  to  do  than  to  look  at 
them  to  make  them  blush  into  "corn,  squashes  and 
beans."  Some  three  miles  south  of  Swan  Creek,  as  a 
monument  set  in  the  landscape,  is  the  remarkable 
cliff  called  the  "Hanging  Rock,"  situated  in  the  pres- 
ent Lawrence  County,  where  is  located  a  village  also 
called  "Hanging  Rock." 

But  plainly  whatever  force  is  accorded  to  the  view 
here  suggested,  a  choice  between  the  two  sites  pro- 
posed by  Dr.  Seaver  for  Wiishto,  the  second  summer 
home,  not  being  supported  by  independent  external 
evidences,  cannot  bear  with  it  the  feeling  of  historic 
certainty  that  accompanies  the  choice  that  has  been 
made  of  the  site  of  the  "little  Seneca  Indian  town" 
as  the  first  summer  home.  Probably  the  summer 
home  at  Wiishto  was  merely  a  summer  camp  of 

360  LIFE  OF 

Senecas  and  Delawares  formed  in  1760  and  con- 
tinued, as  far  as  this  narration  records,  for  "three 

The  Wiishto  home,  if  at  Swan  Creek,  was  sixteen 
miles  below  the  present  Gallipolis,  Ohio. 

An  interesting  question  remains  as  to  the  Wiishto 
summer  home.     A  party  of  Delaware  Indians,  a  sub- 
jugated tribe  ruled  by  the  Iroquois,  soon  joined  the 
Mary  Jemison  party  after  their  settling  at  Wiishto 
and  lived  in  common  with  them.     "Living  in  com- 
mon" may  mean  that  there  was  no  divisional  separa- 
tion  of  habitations   or   living   quarters   as    between 
Senecas  and  Delawares  within  Wiishto,  or  it  may 
mean  that  there  was  such  separation  so  that  within 
the  Wiishto  locality  there  were,  to  all  intents  and 
purposes,  two  Indian  towns  or  villages  or  encamp- 
ments, the  Seneca  and  the  Delaware.     In  either  case, 
whether  their  quarters  were  joint  or  separate,  it  is 
presumable   that   the    Delawares   would    have   their 
own  name  for  the  town  or  village  or  encampment, 
and  that  if  we  assume,  as  the  narrative  seems  to 
warrant,  that  the  Delaware  name  for  the  town  as 
being  their  place  of  residence  was  Canaahtua,  while 
the  Senecas  called  it  as  their  home   Wiishto,  then 
Mary  Jemison's   statement  that   after  their   bridal 
tour,  Captain  Little  Billy's  uncle  and  Priscilla  Ramsay 
returned  to  Canaahtua  would  be  understood  as  a 
return  of  the  bridal  couple  to  the  place  of  their  mar- 
riage, Wiishto.      (Compare  note  No.  52  on  Captain 
Little  Billy's  uncle.) 

With  regard  to  the  Scioto  or  winter  home,  Mary 
Jemison  makes  no  mention  of  there  being  any  Indian 
town  at  the  mouth  of  the  Scioto  and  probably  there 
was  none  there  at  that  time;  for  in  this  same  year, 


1758,  the  first  year  of  Mary  Jemison's  going  there,  the 
Shawnees  moved  their  town  (the  Lower  Shawnee 
Town)  from  the  mouth  of  the  Scioto  to  the  upper 
plains  of  the  Scioto,  sending  for  the  Shawnees  of 
Logstown  to  join  them  there  and  possibly  also  for 
the  Shawnees  of  the  Shawnee  Town  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Great  Kanawha  to  do  the  same. 

—  Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  46,  line  19.) 

The  return  from  Scioto  to  Wiishto  "in  the  spring" 
was  in  1762,  but  probably  in  June;  that  is,  a  year 
after  the  birth  of  Mary  Jemison's  first  child.  —  Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 

62.   HOMMANY   OR    HoMINY. 
(Page  47,  line  19.) 

Hominy  is  a  word  of  American  Indian  (Algonquin) 
origin.  The  form  here  used,  "hommany,"  will  be 
found  in  Murray's  "New  English  Dictionary."  —  Re- 
viser, ed.  1918. 

,  \ 


(Page  48,  line  24.) 

Concerning  the  expression  "Indians  must  and  will 
be  Indians,"  Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker  writes: 

"This  expression  might  upon  first  thought  be  taken 
to  mean  that  the  Indian  can  never  be  civilized  in  the 
true  sense  of  the  word  and  that  he  will  revert  to  his 
ancient  condition  upon  the  slightest  provocation:  — 
as  a  matter  of  fact,  however,  the  degree  in  per- 
manence of  civilization  rests  entirely  upon  environ- 

362  LIFE  OF 

ment.  An  Indian  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  persons 
of  culture  and  refinement  and  excluded  from  associa- 
tion with  persons  of  opposite  nature,  very  readily 
takes  up  all  the  characteristics  of  civilized  society, 
that  is,  if  he  has  been  trained  from  youth  in  the 
better  environment;  but  if  the  educated  youth  is 
thrown  back  into  his  forest  or  prairie  home  and  finds 
that  he  is  ostracized  unless  he  again  resumes  the 
status  of  those  about  him,  he  will  then,  and  only 
then,  forsake  the  ways  in  which  he  has  been  trained. 
There  are  many  shining  examples  of  this  fact  now. 
The  popular  expression  usually  has  been  that  'the 
Indian  is  an  irreclaimable  savage.'  However,  there  is 
another  sense  in  which  the  Indian  must  and  always 
will  be  an  Indian.  It  is  not  necessary  for  me  to  em- 
phasize the  fact  that  the  Indian  naturally  is  extremely 
proud  of  his  race  and  that  he  feels  within  himself  a 
certain  aristocracy  that  is  not  inherent  in  the  blood 
of  the  pale  invader.  The  most  successful  Indians 
to-day  are  those  who  feel  that  their  distinguished 
ancestry  makes  it  incumbent  upon  them  to  demon- 
strate the  worthiness  of  that  ancestry  and  the  power 
of  the  red  man  of  to-day  to  become  a  useful  and  con- 
structive factor  in  any  society.  In  this  sense  the  ex- 
pression is  no  more  incongruous  than  to  paraphrase 
it  'the  white  man  will  always  be  a  white  man.'  There 
is  nothing  disgraceful  in  being  a  white  man  and 
therefore  nothing  disgraceful  in  being  an  Indian,  but 
on  the  contrary  each  man's  pride  in  his  racial  origin 
makes  him  feel  that  he  must  carry  on  his  ambitions 
and  achieve  a  great  success  to  show  that  his  blood 
is  no  less  than  the  best." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  49.  line  4.) 

For  an  illustration  of  Indian  honesty,  see  "Anec- 
dotes," pages  177-178. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



(Page  49,  line  7.) 

For  the  date  of  their  departure  from  Wiishto  see 
note  No.  82. — Reviser •,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  49,  line  23.) 

The  creek  up  which  the  Mary  Jemison  party  is 
represented  as  about  to  go,  called  a  little  farther  on 
the  Sandusky  Creek,  was  the  Muskingum  River. 
To-day  there  is  in  Ohio  no  body  of  water  called 
Sandusky  Lake,  but  in  1762  what  is  now  styled 
Sandusky  Bay  was  styled  Sandusky  Lake,  at  least 
it  is  so  styled  on  a  map  by  Thos.  Hutchins  dated  1764. 
As  it  is  a  geographical  impossibility — one  which  no 
one  could  have  understood  better  than  Sheninjee 
and  Mary  Jamison's  adopted  brothers — for  the 
Muskingum  to  be  the  outlet  of  Sandusky  Lake  (Bay) 
in  the  natural  sense  of  the  word  " outlet/'  it  remains 
to  conjecture  the  real  purport  of  the  remark.  The 
immediate  thought  in  the  mind  of  the  party  may  be 
gathered  from  the  fact  that  the  Muskingum  and  its 
west  branch  was  one  of  the  regular  waterways  to 
Upper  Sandusky  whither  the  party  was  bent,  and 
that  Upper  Sandusky  was  connected  by  the  Sandusky 
River  with  Sandusky  Lake.  This  is  substantially 
the  view  of  Dr.  Beauchamp  who  writes:  "The  outlet 
of  Sandusky  Lake  was  the  Muskingum  River,  as  the 
best  waterway  to  Sandusky  and  there  seems  a  refer- 
ence to  Summit  Lake  at  the  head  of  the  east  branch. 
Sandusky  means  where  there  is  pure  water." — Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 

364  LIFE  OF 


(Page  49,  line  28.) 

The  circumstances  of  the  murder  of  the  three 
traders  as  far  as  recorded  in  this  and  the  three  para- 
graphs following  seem  to  indicate  that  the  traders 
were  not  murdered  in  the  trading  house,  but  probably 
a  short  distance  up  the  Sandusky  Creek  (Muskingum 
River)  into  which  the  Mary  Jemison  party  turned 
after  passing  the  trading  house.  The  bodies  were  met 
floating  down. — Reviser  y  ed.  1918. 


(Page  50,  line  17.) 

It  has  been  imputed  to  Mary  Jemison  as  something 
worse  than  weakness  that  in  the  matter  of  his  cruelties 
she  never  withstood  her  husband,  Hiokatoo,  to  his 
face.  It  should  be  borne  in  mind  that  while  women 
were  given  marked  powers  in  many  ways  among  the 
Iroquois,  yet  in  ordinary  affairs  the  woman  was 
subordinate  to  the  man,  and,  generally  speaking, 
there  was  no  place  for  a  wife  to  withstand  her  husband 
to  his  face.  But  the  passage  to  which  this  note  is 
appended  shows  that  when  under  the  customs  of  the 
tribe  into  which  she  had  been  adopted  Mary  Jemison 
had  any  opportunity  to  act  humanely  she  availed 
herself  of  it  to  the  utmost.  After  Mary  Jemison 
became  reconciled  to  her  captivity  and  her  adoption, 
she  became,  in  accordance  with  her  directness  and 
openness  of  character,  a  Seneca  of  the  Senecas,  but 
she  never  forgot  what  she  owed  to  herself  as  a  woman 
and  to  the  inborn  sense  of  humanity  which  she 
cherished. — Reviser,  ed,  1918, 



(Page  50,  last  line.) 

Gd-go'-sa,  in  the  Seneca  dialect,  signifies  a  false  face, 
and  Gd-go'-sa-ga,  the  place  of  the  false  face,  which  is 
doubtless  the  correct  orthography  of  this  word.— 
Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

70.   YlS-KAH-WA-NA. 
(Page  51,  line  i.) 

The  Indian  village  of  Yis-kah-wa-na,  a  few  miles 
above  Gaw-gush-shaw-ga,  was  on  the  site  of  the 
present  Coshocton  at  the  junction  of  the  Walhonding 
and  the  Tuscarawas  rivers,  the  west  and  the  east  fork 
respectively  of  the  Muskingum  River. — Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  51,  line  11.) 

Gen-nis'-he-yo  is  the  true  spelling.  It  signifies  the 
beautiful  valley,  from  which  the  river  takes  its  name. 
The  adjective  we-yo,  which  means  grand,  or  beautiful, 
is  incorporated  in  the  word,  and  thus  determines  its 
signification.  (See  notes  Nos.  78  and  79.) — Morgan, 
ed.  1856. 

72.  MARY'S  Two  SISTERS. 

(Page  51,  line  13.) 

The  last  mention  in  the  text  of  the  two  sisters  was 
their  presence  in  June,  1761,  at  the  birth  of  Mary 
Jemison's  first  child  after  her  marriage  with  Sheninjee. 
(See  page  45.) — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

366  LIFE  OF 


(Page  51,  line  33.) 

Upper  Sandusky  was  a  well-known  place  much  fre- 
quented by  the  Indians  and  by  traders.  At  times  it 
was  the  place  for  payment  of  British  annuities,  gifts, 
and  favors.  (See  also  note  No.  82.) — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  52,  line  20.) 

The  Rev.  Dr.  Donehoo,  secretary  of  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Historical  Commission,  in  answer  to  an  inquiry 
by  the  Reviser  touching  French  Creek  and  Ganagarah- 
hare,  furnishes  the  following  memorandum: 

"At  the  mouth  of  French  creek,  at  the  site  of 
Franklin,  Pa.,  formerly  stood  the  Indian  village  of 
Venango.  At  this  place  the  French  army  built  one 
of  the  chain  of  forts  in  the  period  before  the  French 
and  Indian  War.  When  Washington  was  sent  to 
warn  the  French  out  of  the  region  in  1753,  the  French 
flag  was  flying  from  the  trading  house  from  which 
John  Fraser  had  been  expelled.  The  French  fort  at 
this  place  was  named  Machault,  although  it  was 
always  mentioned  as  'the  French  Fort  at  Venango/ 
The  Seneca  village  at  this  place  was  called  Ganagarah- 
hare.  The  French  army  reached  Fort  DuQuesne, 
from  Canada,  by  way  of  Presqu'  Isle  (Erie,  Pa.); 
Le  Boeuf  (Waterford,  Pa.);  and  Venango  (Franklin, 

The  mouth  of  French  Creek  is  to-day  the  site  of 
Franklin,  Pa.,  and  the  mouth  of  Conowango  Creek, 
of  Warren,  Pa. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



(Page  53,  line  8.) 

In  the  second  and  subsequent  editions  Che-ua- 
shung-gau-tau  is  correctly  described  as  situated  on 
the  Allegheny  River,  at  the  mouth  of  what  is  now 
called  Cold  Spring  Creek,  in  the  town  of  Napoli, 
Cattaraugus  County,  State  of  New  York. — Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 

76.    U-NA-WAUM-GWA. 
(Page  S3,  line  9.) 

This  name  should  be  spelled  U-na-waun-gwa,  not 
U-na-waum-gwa.  There  are  no  labials  in  the  Iroquois 
dialects.  U-na-waun-gwa  is  also  known  as  Tu-ne- 
un-gwan.  Dr.  Beauchamp  places  this  Indian  town  or 
village  in  Carrollton,  Cattaraugus  County. — Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 


(Page  53,  line  14.) 

Caneadea  is  a  well-preserved  Seneca  name.  The 
original,  Gd-o'-ya-de-o,  signifies  where  the  heavens  rest 
upon  the  earth. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

The  old  Indian  Council  House  which  stood  at 
Caneadea  and  which  Mary  Jemison  may  have  en- 
tered is  now  preserved  near  her  grave  in  Letchworth 
Park.  (See  page  237.) — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  S3,  line  15.) 

Later  editions  than  the  first,  omitting  the  description 
of  Genishau  given  here,  read:  "At  Little  Beard's 

3  68  LIFE  OF 

Town  in  Genishau,  at  that  time  a  large  Seneca  town, 
thickly  inhabited."  The  arrival  of  Mary  Jemison 
and  party  at  Genishau  was  apparently  near  the  end 
of  1762  or  early  in  1763.  (See  note  No.  71.)  —  Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 

79.  GENESEE. 

(Page  53,  line  17.) 

Gen.  Henry  A.  S.  Dearborn,  in  his  journal  of  his 
visit  to  the  Seneca  Indians  in  the  year  1838,  says: 
"Mr.  Strong  the  interpreter  informs  me  that  Genesee 
as  now  pronounced  by  the  Senecas  Ja-nes-he-ya  &  the 
word  is  derived  from  Gats-he-nos-he-yu  &  means  Good 
Valley"  (See  the  "Dearborn  Journals,"  page  21  1 
of  Volume  VII  of  the  "Publications  of  the  Buffalo 
Historical  Society,"  1904.  Also  see  note  No.  71).  — 
Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  S3,  line  22.) 

Concerning  the  question  as  to  whether  Mary  Jemi- 
son traveled  the  whole  distance  from  the  Ohio  to  the 
Genesee  on  foot,  see  note  No.  82.  —  Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  S3,  line  34.) 

The  New  York  State  archaeologist,  Mr.  Arthur  C. 
Parker,  in  answer  to  an  inquiry,  furnishes  this 

"When  travelling  on  foot,  the  Indian  mother  usu- 
ally carried  her  child  wrapped  snugly  in  the  cradle 
board,  or  held  tightly  in  a  shawl  against  her  back, 
the  little  youngster's  head  resting  against  her  shoulder; 


Grand-son  of  Mary  Jemison. 


when  travelling  in  a  canoe,  she  would  not  as  a  general 
thing  carry  her  child  on  her  back,  but  rather  would 
have  the  little  one  curled  up  in  her  lap,  or  strapped 
safely  on  the  bottom  of  the  canoe  in  a  cradle  board." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  54.  line  9.) 

An  interesting  chapter  in  the  Mary  Jemison  narra- 
tive is  the  story  of  Mary  Jemison's  journey  from  the 
valley  of  the  Ohio  to  the  valley  of  the  Genesee  in  the 
latter  half  of  1762.  Little  or  nothing  is  known  of 
this  journey  except  what  has  come  down  to  us  in  the 
fourth  chapter  of  Dr.  Seaver's  "Life  of  Mary  Jemi- 
son," of  which  this  is  to  be  regarded  as  an  explica- 
tion. More  specifically,  the  journey  was  from  the 
Indian  village  of  Wiishto  on  the  Ohio  to  the  Indian 
village  of  Genishau  on  the  Genesee.  Genishau,  where 
Mary  Jemison's  journey  ended,  is  universally  recog- 
nized as  the  place  now  known  as  Cuylerville,  which  is 
across  the  Genesee  River  from  Geneseo  and  distant 
from  that  place  about  four  miles.  The  site  of  the 
Indian  village  where  Mary  Jemison's  journey  began, 
Wiishto,  is  disputed,  though  there  is  no  doubt  of  its 
historic  reality  as  a  village  on  the  Ohio,  where  Mary 
Jemison  on  her  own  testimony  lived  three  summers, 
those  of  1759,  1760,  and  1761,  and  where  she  was 
first  married  and  where  she  had  her  first  child.  For  a 
discussion  of  the  two  possible  sites  of  Wiishto  sug- 
gested by  Dr.  Seaver,  who  reduced  Mary  Jemison's 
story  of  her  life  to  writing,  see  the  note  No.  60,  which 
gives  preference  to  the  site  at  the  mouth  of  Swan 
Creek  which  is  adopted  here  as  the  starting-point  of 
the  Mary  Jemison  journey. 

370  LIFE  OF 

It  is  not  remarkable  that  there  is  difficulty  in  locat- 
ing an  Indian  village  once  it  has  ceased  to  be  a  place 
of  habitation.  Unlike  an  American  village,  for  ex- 
ample, an  Indian  village  is  not  in  a  way  anchored  to 
the  soil  by  a  church  building  and  a  school  building  and 
a  town  hall  and  a  jail,  and  in  these  latter  days  by  a 
grange  assembly  house,  which  together  or  separately 
leave  some  sort  of  evidence  of  occupation.  Con- 
trariwise, an  Indian  village  simply  hovers  over  its  site, 
ready  at  the  first  breath  of  pestilence  or  disastrous 
war  or  exhaustion  of  game  or  timber  to  flit  away 
through  the  forest  aisles  to  a  new  site,  though  some- 
times a  burial  mound  or  a  council  tree  may  remain  in 
attest  of  the  village  that  has  been.  Storke,  in  his 
"History  of  Cayuga  County"  (page  29),  states  that 
ten  to  thirty  years  is  the  average  life  of  an  Indian 
village.  No  wonder  is  it  then  that  it  is  only  by  pa- 
tient inferential  reasoning  that  the  site  of  a  village 
like  Wiishto  can  be  worked  out  at  all,  and  even  then 
the  possibility  of  a  hidden  error  may  remain  as  a 
haunting  disquietude.  It  may,  however,  be  assumed 
with  confidence  that  the  site  of  Wiishto  was  certainly 
one  of  the  two  sites  suggested  by  Dr.  Seaver. 

The  beauty  of  the  village  sites  among  the  Iroquois 
and  the  judgment  shown  in  their  selection  is  an  inter- 
esting book  that  remains  to  be  written. 

The  distance  traversed  by  Mary  Jemison  in  her 
journey  cannot  be  given  with  anything  like  precision. 
On  page  53  of  her  Life,  Mary  Jemison  incidentally 
refers  to  the  journey  as  one  of  five  or  six  hundred 
miles,  but  an  examination  to  determine  separately 
the  number  of  miles  in  each  of  the  several  stages  of 
the  journey  made  the  total  682  miles — a  result  which 


considerably  exceeds  Mary  Jemison's  general  estimate. 
But  the  investigation  was  obscured  by  two  petty  but 
unanswerable  queries — Did  Mary  Jernison  travel  on 
straight  lines?  And  was  there  only  one  negotiable 
road  in  each  stage? 

The  time  consumed  in  the  journey  was  approxi- 
mately six  months.  The  dates  of  departure  and  con- 
clusion of  the  journey  seem  to  be  sufficiently  indi- 
cated by  Mary  Jemison's  allusions  to  the  age  of  her 
little  son,  Thomas.  Apparently  on  leaving  Wiishto 
Thomas  was  three  or  four  months  old,  and  on  arriving 
at  Genishau  nine  months  old.  This  would  make  the 
date  of  departure  about  July  I,  1762,  and  the  date 
of  conclusion  about  January  I,  1763.  (See  in  this 
connection  pages  46  and  59,  and  note  No.  56.) 

In  her  narrative  (page  53)  Mary  Jemison  makes  a 
statement  which,  taken  literally,  suggests  that  the 
whole  journey  of  five  or  six  hundred  miles  was  made 
on  foot.  But  the  details  of  the  journey  as  given  in 
her  account  show  that,  while  the  journey  was  made 
principally  on  foot,  it  was  also  made  partly  by  canoe 
and  partly  on  horseback. 

The  route  taken  by  Mary  Jemison  from  Wiishto 
to  Genishau  was  in  a  sense  pre-determined  for  her  by 
prevalent  usage  and  by  the  geography  of  the  State 
of  Ohio.  In  the  northern  part  of  Ohio  (see  King: 
"Ohio")  a  table-land  or  ridge  runs  from  the  eastern 
side  of  the  State  to  the  western,  forming  a  water-shed, 
on  the  south  side  of  which  the  rivers  flow  southward 
to  the  Ohio,  and  on  the  north  side  northward  to  Lake 
Erie.  At  Akron  on  the  east  this  table-land  is  848 
feet  above  Lake  Erie  and  35  miles  distant  from  it; 
while  at  Upper  Sandusky  on  the  west  the  height  above 
the  lake  is  981.5  feet,  and  the  distance  from  it  60 

372  LIFE  OF 

miles.  At  the  time  of  Mary  Jemison's  journey,  the 
narrow  table-land  was,  as  probably  it  had  long  been, 
the  great  highway  east  and  west  of  the  Indians  and 
the  traders  and  the  occasional  traveler.  Coming 
north  from  the  Ohio  River  to  the  water-shed,  any 
one  of  the  several  rivers  which  descend  to  the  Ohio 
from  it  could  be  used,  or,  avoiding  the  table-land 
altogether,  the  traveler  could  follow  the  Ohio  River 
to  the  Alleghany,  and  then  the  Alleghany  till  he  came 
into  the  Genesee  country.  The  two  rivers  most  used, 
however,  in  going  north  from  the  Ohio,  were  the 
Muskingum  and  the  Scioto,  the  former  near  the  center 
of  the  State,  the  latter  about  200  miles  to  the  west  of 
the  center.  The  Muskingum  had  unquestionably  the 
advantage,  at  least  for  the  aborigine  and  the  pioneer, 
of  geographical  location  and  possibly  of  attractiveness 
also,  for  by  common  acclaim  the  valley  of  the  Muskin- 
gum is  a  land  in  which  to  loiter  goldenly. 

In  this  connection  it  is  pardonable  to  note  of  the 
Muskingum's  rival,  the  Scioto,  that  it  was  down  the 
valley  of  this  river  that,  to  ravage  the  southland  and 
smite  the  Cherokee,  the  dreaded  Senecas  raged  under 
their  terrible  leader,  Hiokatoo,  who  became  the  hus- 
band of  Mary  Jemison  three  or  four  years  after  her 
coming  to  Genishau. 

The  several  stages  into  which  the  journey  naturally 
resolves  itself  are  easily  discoverable  from  the  nar- 

The  first  stage  was  from  Wiishto  to  modern  Coshoc- 
ton,  the  place  where  the  rivers  Walhonding  and 
Tuscarawas  unite  to  form  the  Muskingum.  The 
sub-stages  were  Wiishto  to  Gallipolis,  16  miles; 
Gallipolis  to  the  mouth  of  the  Muskingum,  105  miles; 
the  mouth  of  the  Muskingum  to  Gawgushshawga,  40 


miles;  Gawgushshawga  to  Yiskahwana  (Coshocton), 
75  miles. 

This  first  stage  was  made  in  a  canoe.  The  party 
embraced  Mary  Jemison,  her  little  son,  Thomas,  her 
husband  and  two  of  her  adopted  Indian  brothers,  five 
altogether.  The  stage  was  made  leisurely  and  the 
lapse  of  time  is  to  an  extent  indicated,  and  especially 
it  is  noted  that  when  about  to  enter  on  the  second 
stage  the  summer  was  gone  and  the  time  for  harvest- 
ing corn  had  arrived. 

The  second  stage  was  from  Yiskahwana  to  Upper 
Sandusky,  75  miles.  The  party  followed  the  West 
Branch,  i.e.,  the  Walhonding  or  Mohican  River.  It  is 
not  clear,  however,  why  in  going  to  the  Genesee 
valley  the  party  should  at  Coshocton  take  the  West 
Branch  instead  of  the  East  Branch,  Upper  Sandusky 
being  in  the  opposite  direction  from  Genishau.  A 
satisfactory  reason,  it  may  be  suggested,  is  that  the 
supplies  were  giving  out  and  that  one  of  Mary  Jemi- 
son's  adopted  brothers,  familiar  with  the  route,  di- 
vined that  supplies  might  be  secured,  which  proved 
to  be  the  case,  at  Upper  Sandusky.  It  is  also  possi- 
ble that  the  gradient  up  the  water-shed  was  easier  to 
the  west  than  to  the  east. 

In  this  second  stage  the  number  in  the  party  re- 
mained five.  Mary  Jemison's  husband  left  the  party, 
but  a  third  adopted  brother  took  his  place.  The 
party  traveled  on  foot,  Mary  Jemison  representing 
herself  as  setting  out  with  her  little  son  on  her  back, 
a  fashion  in  which  no  Indian  woman  would  travel  in  a 
canoe.  Further,  walking  is  the  Indian's  favorite 
method  of  traveling. 

The  third  stage  was  the  longest  and  the  most  trying. 
Its  first  sub-stage  was  from  Upper  Sandusky  to 

374  LIFE  OF 

French  Creek,  Franklin,  Pa.,  190  miles,  and  its 
second  from  French  Creek  to  Conowongo  Creek, 
Warren,  Pa.,  80  miles.  The  party  remained  un- 
changed. What  differentiates  the  third  stage  was  the 
finding  and  appropriating  of  two  or  three  horses  at 
Upper  Sandusky.  Presumably  at  least  one  more  horse 
was  added  later,  for  in  the  perilous  fording  of  Cono- 
wongo Creek  the  natural  sense  of  the  account  is  that 
each  one  of  the  party  had  a  horse,  and  in  the  party 
there  were,  besides  the  little  boy,  four  adults.  Any 
other  theory  of  the  fording  presents  insuperable  diffi- 
culties. Even  as  it  was,  the  party  barely  escaped 
with  their  lives.  As  to  the  exact  route  in  this  stage, 
the  account  is  silent,  but  the  party  probably  followed 
in  the  main  the  Mahoning  trail,  well  known  as  being 
the  one  used  by  Washington  and  Gist.  To  what 
extent  the  horses  were  utilized  in  this  stage,  except 
for  fording  in  cases  of  high  water,  does  not  appear. 

The  fourth  and  last  stage  of  the  wonderful  journey 
was  in  two  sub-stages,  the  first  being  from  Warren, 
Pa.,  to  Caneadea,  N.  Y.,  65  miles,  and  the  second 
from  Caneadea  to  Genishau,  36  miles.  Mention  is 
made  of  passing  through  in  the  first  sub-stage  two 
Indian  places,  at  the  second  of  which  a  stop  was  made. 
In  the  fourth  stage  the  party  remained  the  same  as 
in  the  second  and  third  stages.  The  traveling  was 
presumably  done  on  foot.  Whether  the  horses  were 
abandoned  at  the  beginning  of  the  fourth  stage,  as 
the  canoe  had  apparently  been  at  the  beginning  of 
the  second,  Mary  Jemison  does  not  tell  us. 

Near  the  close  of  the  fourth  chapter,  in  which  the 
story  of  the  journey  is  told,  Mary  Jemison  remarks, 
"My  brothers  were  attentive," — one  of  the  many 
thoughtful  and  sincere  mentions  in  which  Mary 


Jemison  in  the  account  of  her  life  pays  tribute  to  the 
ever  constant  devotion  and  respect  with  which  she 
was  treated  by  all  the  members  of  the  Indian  family 
into  which  she  had  been  adopted. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  55,  line  9.) 

In  the  Batavia  edition  of  1842  Fort  Niagara  was 
changed  to  Fort  Erie,  and  the  error  was  repeated  in 
all  subsequent  editions  up  to  and  including  that  of 
1913.  Fort  Niagara  is  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
Niagara  River  where  it  enters  Lake  Ontario.  Fort 
Erie  is  on  the  left  bank  of  the  river  opposite  Buffalo 
near  Lake  Erie.  The  two  are  about  twenty-seven 
miles  apart  in  an  air  line. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  55,  line  10.) 

The  following  summary  of  information  and  opinions 
as  to  the  origin  and  meaning  of  the  word  Niagara  has 
been  prepared,  not  to  settle  once  for  all  the  points  in 
dispute  in  this  field  of  historic  inquiry,  but  to  assemble 
in  an  orderly  statement,  as  far  as  possible,  the  dif- 
ferences which  investigation  has  developed. 

I.  The  term  Niagara  first  appears  in  literature  in 
"The  Jesuit  Relations"  for  1641  in  the  form  On- 
guiaahra,  evidently  a  misprint,  as  has  been  pointed 
out,  for  Ongniaahra.  But  notwithstanding  the  early 
appearance  of  this  name,  the  name  and  what  it  con- 
noted remained  for  more  than  two  and  a  half  cen- 
turies simply  a  matter  of  the  cloister,  a  thing  apart, 
and  not  information  modifying  opinion  and  vitalizing 

376  LIFE  OF 

history.  It  was  only  when  in  the  latter  part  of  the 
nineteenth  century  "The  Jesuit  Relations "  were 
translated  into  English,  1896-1901,  and  found  their 
way  into  the  book  stall,  that  they  came  to  affect 
historical  inquiry  and  discussion.  Meanwhile,  as  a 
question  of  linguistics,  the  term  Niagara  remained 
comparatively  inconspicuous  and  the  process  of  its 
coming  into  the  light  developed  slowly. 

II.  In  the  year   1741    Cadwalader  Golden,   Lieu- 
tenant Governor  of  New  York,  1760-75,  and  author 
of  "The  History  of  the  Five  Nations  of  Indians," 
writes  the  name  Niagara  0-ni-ag-a-ra. 

III.  In  the  year  1823  Mary  Jemison,  dictating  to 
Dr.  Seaver  her  life,  says  (line  4,  page  55)  that  in  the 
Seneca  language  Fort  Niagara  is  called  Fort  Ne-a-gazv, 
and  to  this  day  the  Senecas  follow  the  usage  here 
given  by  Mary  Jemison,  i.  e.,  Ne-a-gaw,  not  Niagara. 

IV.  In  a  letter  written  in  1824,  the  year  of  issue  of 
the  first  edition  of  Dr.  Seaver's  "Life  of  Mary  Jemi- 
son," Col.  Timothy  Pickering,  who  conducted  for  the 
United    States    several    treaties    with    the    Indians, 
writes:     (see    Dr.    Beauchamp's    " Aboriginal    Place 
Names  of  New  York,"  page  135): 

"I  have  been  sometimes  asked  what  was  the 
Indian  pronunciation  of  Niagara.  By  the  eastern 
tribes,  it  was  Ne-au-gau-raw,  or  rather  Ne-og-au-roh. 
The  second  syllable  was  short  with  the  accent  upon 
it — the  last  syllable  being  like  final  a  in  America. 
The  Senecas  called  the  falls  or  river  not  Ne-og-au-roh, 
but  Ne-au-gaw,  the  second  syllable  auh  gutturally, 
with  the  accent  upon  it  and  the  last  syllable  long." 

V.  In  his  " League  of  the  Iroquois,"  page  432  of 
Book  3  of  edition  of  1851,  and  page  97  of  Volume  II 
of  edition  1901  and  1904,  Morgan  says: 


"Having  now  reached  the  banks  of  the  Niagara, 
and  the  vicinity  of  the  great  cataract,  the  derivation 
of  the  word  Niagara  suggests  itself  as  a  subject  for 
inquiry.  Golden  wrote  it  0-ni-ag-a-ra,  in  1741,  and 
he  must  have  received  it  from  the  Mohawks  or 
Oneidas.  It  was  the  name  of  a  Seneca  village  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Niagara  river,  located  as  early  as  1650, 
near  the  site  of  Youngstown.  It  was  also  the  place 
where  the  Marquis  De  Nonville  constructed  a  fort 
in  1687,  the  building  of  which  brought  this  locality 
under  the  particular  notice  of  the  English.  The 
name  of  this  Indian  village  in  the  dialect  of  the  Sene- 
cas  was  Ne-ah'-ga,  in  Tuscarora  O-ne-a'-kars-,  in 
Onondaga  O-ne-ah'-gd^  in  Oneida  O-ne-ah'-gdle,  and 
in  Mohawk  O-ne-a'-gd-rd.  These  names  are  but  the 
same  word  under  dialectical  changes.  It  is  clear 
that  Niagara  was  derived  from  some  one  of  them, 
and  thus  came  direct  from  the  Iroquois  language. 
The  signification  of  the  word  is  lost,  unless  it  be  de- 
rived, as  some  of  the  present  Iroquois  suppose,  from 
the  word  which  signifies  neck,  in  Seneca  0-ne-ah-d,  in 
Onondaga  0-ne-ya-a,  and  in  Oneida  O-ne'-arle." 

Bancroft,  according  to  Morgan,  mistakenly  derives 
the  latter  from  the  language  of  the  Neuter  Nation. 
Morgan  continues: 

"The  name  of  this  Indian  village  was  bestowed 
by  the  Iroquois  upon  Youngstown,  upon  the  river 
Niagara,  from  the  falls  to  the  lake,  and  upon  Lake 
Ontario,  as  has  been  elsewhere  stated. 

"In  bestowing  names  upon  water-falls,  the  Iroquois 
custom  agrees  with  the  English.  The  name  of  the 
river  is  connected  with  the  word  fall.  In  the  case  of 
Niagara  Falls,  however,  an  adjective  is  incorporated 
with  the  word  fall,  as  the  idea  of  its  grandeur  and 
sublimity  appears  to  have  been  identified  with  the 
fall  itself.  Thus,  in  Onondaga  it  is  called  Date-car'- 
sko-sis,  in  Seneca  Date-car f-sko-sase,  the  word  Ne-ah'- 
gd  being  understood.  It  signifies  the  highest  falls." 

378  LIFE  OF 

Five  years  later,  in  the  1856  edition  of  Mary 
Jemison's  Life,  Morgan  added  the  following  notes  to 
the  word  Ne-ah-ga,  which  word  appears  in  line  4  of 
page  55  of  the  first  edition  and  line  4  of  page  98  of  the 
1856  edition: 

"The  Seneca  name  of  the  Niagara  River,  and  of 
Lake  Ontario,  was  Ne-ah'-gd.  They  derived  this 
name  from  a  locality  near  the  site  of  Youngstown,  in 
the  vicinity  of  which  is  the  present  Fort  Niagara. 
Our  present  name  Niagara,  is  derived  from  this 

Morgan  also  added  a  comment  to  the  name  Niagara 
in  the  list  of  "Indian  Geographic  Names"  on  page 
267,  reproduced  from  his  "League  of  the  Iroquois." 
It  is  to  be  noted  in  this  connection  that  Morgan  pub- 
lished the  latter  work  in  1851,  forty-six  years  before 
the  publication  of  "The  Jesuit  Relations"  in  English 
began,  though  of  course  Morgan  may  have  seen  "The 
Jesuit  Relations"  for  1641  in  old  French  as  they 
originally  appeared,  but  the  presumption  is  that  he 
did  not. 

VI.  In  1869  Parkman,  in  his  "LaSalle  and  the  Dis- 
covery of  the  Great  West,"  has  a  note  on  the  word 
Niagara  at  the  bottom  of  page  126  in  which  he  says, 
"It  is  of  Iroquois  origin  and  in  the  Mohawk  dialect  is 
pronounced  Nyagarah";   and  Winsor,  in  his  "Narra- 
tive and  Critical  History,"  published  1884-1889,  en- 
dorses the  view  taken  by  Parkman. 

VII.  In  1907,  fifty-one  years  after  the  1856  edition 
of  the  "Life  of  Mary  Jemison,"  Rev.  W.  M.  Beau- 
champ,  S.T.D.,  in  his  "Aboriginal  Place  Names  of 
New  York,"  writes: 


"Ni-ag-a-ra  was  an  early  French  form  of  the  name 
for  the  river,  but  for  a  long  time  the  accent  was 
placed  on  the  penult  as  in  Goldsmith's  *  Traveler' 
(published  1765). 

" '  And  Niagara  stuns  with  thundering  sound.' 

"It  means  simply  the  neck  connecting  two  great 
lakes  as  the  body  and  head  are  united." 

A  memorandum  of  current  date  by  Dr.  Beauchamp 

"The  use  of  Niagara,  as  now  written,  first  occurs  in 
Hennepin,  1678,  when  La  Salle  built  a  brigantine  on 
the  site  of  Fort  Frontenac  (Kingston,  Ont.).  Father 
Hennepin  sailed  in  this  over  Lake  Ontario,  and  on 
December  6th  entered  what  he  called  'the  beautiful 
river  Niagara  into  which  no  bark  similar  to  ours  had 
ever  sailed/  The  French  adhered  to  this  spelling, 
and  De  Nonville  wrote  it  thus  when  he  took  posses- 
sion, July  31,  1687. 

"The  English  form  at  first  varied  slightly,  being 
Yager  ah  and  Onjagera  in  1719-20.  In  the  latter  j 
has  the  sound  of  Y.  Governor  Hunter,  however, 
August  29,  1721,  was  the  first  Englishman  to  use  the 
present  form,  and  it  soon  became  the  rule,  one  which 
Golden  merely  followed  a  score  of  years  later." 

VIII.  In  1910,  eighty-six  years  after  the  first  edi- 
tion, and  fifty-four  years  after  the  1856  edition  of 
"The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison,"  and  fourteen  years 
after  the  publication  in  English  of  "The  Jesuit  Re- 
lations" began,  J.  N.  B.  Hewitt,  under  the  title 
"Niagara"  in  Part  II  of  "The  Handbook  of  American 
Indians"  published  by  the  United  States  Bureau  of 
Ethnology,  which  had  been  organized  in  1879,  says: 

"Of  Iroquoian  origin,  one  of  the  earliest  forms  of 
this  place  name  is  that  in  the  Jesuit  Relation  for  1641, 

380  LIFE  OF 

in  which  it  is  written  Onguiaahra,  evidently  a  mis- 
print for  Ongniaahra,  and  it  is  there  made  the  name 
of  a  Neutral  town  and  of  the  river  which  today 
bears  this  designation.  Its  most  probable  derivation, 
however,  is  from  the  Iroquoian  sentence-word  which 
in  Onondaga  and  Seneca  becomes  O'hnia'ga'  and  in 
Tuscarora  U'hnia'ka'r,  signifying  bisected  bottom-land. 
Its  first  use  was  perhaps  by  the  Neutral  or  Huron 

IX.  As  to  the  meaning  of  the  word  Niagara,  two 
suggestions  have  been  made:  first,  that  it  means  a 
neck.  (In  this  connection  read  note  furnished  by 
Dr.  Hall,  which  follows.)  This  signification  (neck), 
by  whomsoever  first  suggested,  was  adopted  by  Mor- 
gan and  his  collaborator,  General  Ely  S.  Parker,  and 
first  appeared  as  a  matter  of  literature  in  "The  League 
of  the  Iroquois."  This  meaning  is  given  a  place  also 
in  Dr.  Beauchamp's  " Aboriginal  Place  Names  of 
New  York"  as  quoted  above.  But  it  is  possible 
that  the  reference  here  is  simply  to  that  neck  of  land 
formed  by  the  confluence  of  the  Niagara  River  and 
Lake  Ontario — a  piece  of  land  on  whose  surface  were 
the  two  places  most  notable  in  the  early  history  of  the 
Senecas  and  the  Iroquois,  Youngstown  and  Fort 
Niagara.  To  the  list  of  those  who  accept  neck  as  the 
probable  meaning  of  the  term  Niagara  may  be  added 
(on  the  suggestion  of  Dr.  W.  M.  Beauchamp)  Zeis- 
berger,  a  name  of  authority  during  the  last  half  of  the 
eighteenth  century  in  Indian  linguistics  and  ethnol- 
ogy, also  the  well-known  name  of  the  Rev.  Albert 
Cusick,  who  died  in  1912.  A  second  signification  is 
that  of  bisected-bottom-land  which  appears  in  Hewitt's 
note  on  "Niagara"  in  Part  II  of  "The  Handbook  of 
American  Indians."  It  might  be  suggested,  how- 
ever, that  the  collocation  bisected  bottom-land,  felicitous 


enough  in  itself,  is  perhaps  too  artificial  and  learned 
to  have  occurred  spontaneously  to  the  Indian  mind 
and,  therefore,  lacks  the  best  claim  for  general  ac- 
ceptance. It  is  not  unthinkable  that  both  significa- 
tions have  an  element  of  historic  possibility  and  may 
be  held  without  any  feeling  that  the  destiny  of  the 
world  is  at  stake.  In  a  polysynthetic  language  there 
is  no  reason  why  a  basis  of  definition  should  not  be 
ultimately  reached  that  will  be  true  for  at  least  one 

X.  Dr.  Edward  Hagaman  Hall,  secretary  of  the 
American  Scenic  and  Historic  Preservation  Society, 
has  furnished  the  Reviser  with  several  interesting 
quotations  bearing  on  this  subject.  "The  Jesuit  Re- 
lations," he  notes,  referring  to  the  outlet  of  Lake 
Huron,  says: 

"It  flows  first  into  the  lake  of  Erie,  or  of  the 
Nation  of  the  Cat,  and  at  the  end  of  that  lake,  it 
enters  the  territory  of  the  Neutral  Nation,  and  takes 
the  name  of  Onguiaahra,  until  it  empties  into  the 
Ontario  or  lake  of  Saint  Louys." 

A  note  by  the  author  in  the  translation  of  "The 
Jesuit  Relations/'  referring  to  the  foregoing  passage, 

"Onguiaahra:  Niagara.  Cartier,  when  at  Hoch- 
elaga  (Montreal),  heard  vague  rumors  of  the  great 
cataract.  Champlain's  map  of  1632  locates  it  quite 
definitely  at  the  western  end  of  Lake  St.  Louis 
(Ontario);  he  describes  it  as  fa  fall  of  water  at  the 
end  of  the  falls  of  St.  Louis — very  high,  in  descending 
which  many  kinds  of  fish  are  stunned/  Its  location 
on  the  map  shows  that  Sault  St.  Louis  is  a  mere  slip 
of  the  pen,  or  a  typographical  error,  for  lac  St.  Louis. 
Sanson's  map  of  1656  gives  it  as  Ongiara  Sault; 

382  LIFE  OF 

Coronelli  (1688)  names  it  Niagara.  O'Callaghan's 
index  to  N.  Y.  Colon.  Docs,  enumerates  thirty-nine 
other  variants  on  this  name.  The  name  Niagara,  or 
Onguiahra,  is  generally  regarded  as  of  Mohawk  (or 
the  kindred  Neutral)  origin,  signifying  neck,  re- 
ferring to  the  strip  of  land  between  Lakes  Erie  and 
Ontario  cut  off  by  this  river.  The  easternmost  village 
of  the  Neutrals,  probably  near  the  falls,  bore  the 

The  map  in  Hennepin's  "Nouvelle  Decouverte," 
(1697)  calls  it  Sault  de  Niagara  and  in  the  accompany- 
ing text  he  calls  the  river  Riviere  de  Niagara.  At  the 
beginning  of  the  chapter  about  Niagara  Falls  is  the 
title:  "Description  du  Saut,  en  cheute  d'eau  de 
Niagara,  qui  se  voit  entre  le  Lac  Ontario,  E  le  Lac 

Dr.  Hall,  who  has  examined  the  context  of  "The 
Relations"  and  Hennepin's  "Nouvelle  Decouverte," 
says  that  it  gives  no  indication  of  the  meaning  of 
Niagara.  He  adds: 

"As  there  was  a  Neutral  village  named  Onguiaahra 
on  the  Niagara  river,  the  question  naturally  arises, 
was  the  river  named  from  the  village  or  the  village 
from  the  river?  I  imagine  the  latter;  or,  rather  that 
the  word  Onguiaahra  described  a  place  and  was 
applicable  to  both.  It  seems  to  me  that  if  the 
Neuters  used  it  for  the  name  of  one  of  their  villages 
it  was  a  Neuter  word." 

Since  the  receipt  of  Dr.  Hall's  notes,  in  one  of  which 
mention  is  made  of  Sanson's  map  of  1656,  the  Right 
Rev.  Cameron  Mann,  D.D.,  Bishop  of  Southern  Flor- 
ida, has  forwarded  to  the  Reviser  for  his  inspection  a 
beautiful  copy  of  Sanson's  "Amerique"  owned  by 
him.  It  is  a  quarto  in  vellum,  Paris,  1657,  contain- 


ing  besides  its  letter  press  fifteen  interesting  and  valu- 
able maps,  the  second  of  which  presents  the  Niagara 
River  under  the  name  Ongiara  Sault,  connecting 
lakes  Erie  and  Ontario. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  55,  line  12.) 

There  is  a  confusion  in  this  paragraph  of  two  dis- 
tinct historic  events,  four  years  apart,  as  noted  by 
Dr.  Seaver  in  the  Appendix  to  the  first  edition  (page 
145);  ist,  the  capture,  July  25,  1759,  of  Fort  Niagara 
by  the  British;  and,  2nd,  the  dire  ambuscade  of  the 
British  by  the  Indians  at  the  Devil's  Hole,  June  20, 
1763.  That  Mrs.  Jemison  arrived  at  Genishau  the 
day  before  the  attempt  of  the  Indians  in  1759  to  re- 
capture Fort  Niagara  is,  of  course,  an  impossibility; 
that  she  arrived  the  day  before  the  preparations  for 
the  ambuscade  is  an  improbability,  for  certainly  the 
arrival  from  Wiishto  at  Genishau  was,  as  already 
pointed  out,  just  before  or  just  after  the  beginning 
of  1763. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  56,  line  5.) 

Mr.  Henry  O'Reilly  in  his  "History  of  Rochester 
and  Western  New  York"  (page  386)  states  that  the 
first  neat  cattle  brought  to  the  Genesee  flats  were 
those  captured  by  the  Indians  at  the  affair  of  the 
Devil's  Hole  in  1 763 . — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  58,  line  4.) 

It  is  not  clear  when  or  where  the  two  white  prison- 
ers, referred  to  in  this  connection,  were  captured. 

384  LIFE  OF 

It  is  not  impossible  that  they  were  captured  in  the 
affair  at  Fort  Niagara  in  1759  and  that  the  burning 
of  them  took  place  at  the  time  and  place  stated,  but 
as  Mary  Jemison  in  1759  was  living  on  the  Ohio  River 
she  could  not  have  been  present  at  the  burning  at  the 
date  named.  The  obscurity  of  Mary  Jemison's  state- 
ment is  increased  by  the  fact  that  no  prisoners  are 
known  to  have  been  taken  in  the  affair  at  the  Devil's 
Hole  in  1763. — Reviser •,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  58,  line  15.) 

Sheninjee  died  in  the  summer  or  early  autumn  of 
1762. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  58,  line  24.) 

A  serious  problem  was  brought  home  to  the  colon- 
ists and  pioneers  on  the  western  side  of  the  settle- 
ments at  the  close  of  the  French  and  Indian  War, 

1763,  and  especially  at  the  close  of  Pontiac's  War, 

1764.  The  problem  was  the  recovery  of  the  captives 
held  among  the  Indians  and  the  restoration  of  them 
to  their  homes.     The  return  of  the  captives,  of  which 
there  was  really  an  extraordinary  number,  was  op- 
posed by  the  Indians  with  every  form  of  evasion,  but 
when,  in  1764,  the  matter  came  into  the  firm  hand  of 
Colonel  Bouquet,  a  general  delivery  of  the  captives  at 
Carlisle,  Pa.,  was  effected.     In  a  number  of  instances, 
larger  than  one  would  have  anticipated,  one  or  the 
other  of  two  unexpected  obstacles  intervened  against 
restoration,  both  of  which  were  in  their  way  pathetic. 
First,    aversion   or    refusal    to    return.     Noticeably, 


Favorite  grand-son  of  Mary'Jemison. 


many  women,  especially  young  women  who  had  mar- 
ried Indians,  being  compelled  to  return  with  their 
children  to  the  settlements,  did  so  with  reluctance 
and  several  afterwards  made  their  escape.  But, 
secondly,  more  pathetic  was  the  case  of  young  children 
who  had  lost  memory  even  of  their  mothers.  Park- 
man,  in  his  intensely  dramatic  description  of  the 
Carlisle  delivery  ("Conspiracy  of  Pontiac,"  Volume 
II,  page  234),  instances  the  case  of  an  old  woman 
whose  daughter  had  been  carried  off  nine  years  before 
and  had  lost  remembrance  of  her  mother. 

"Bouquet  suggested  an  expedient.  'Sing  the  song 
that  you  used  to  sing  to  her  when  a  child/  The  old 
woman  obeyed;  and  a  sudden  start,  a  look  of  be- 
wilderment, and  a  passionate  flood  of  tears,  removed 
every  doubt,  and  restored  the  long  lost  daughter  to 
her  mother's  arms." 

Mr.  Frank  H.  Severance,  secretary  of  the  Buffalo 
Historical  Society,  in  answer  to  inquiries,  furnishes  the 
following  memorandum  on  the  subject: 

"Regarding  bounty  offered  by  the  English  king  for 
prisoners  brought  in  to  posts:  I  did  not  find  in  the 
printed  books  any  definite  statement  on  that  point. 
It  is  true  that  the  British  authorities  paid  for  prisoners, 
the  payment  taking  various  forms.  Probably  the 
offer  of  bounty  was  renewed  from  time  to  time,  but  I 
can  give  you  no  dates.  If  any  are  to  be  found,  I  think 
likely  it  would  be  in  the  Haldimand  papers,  a  great 
manuscript  collection,  which  may  be  consulted  in  the 
Archivist's  office  at  Ottawa.  Several  volumes  of  in- 
dexes and  calendars  to  these  papers  have  been  pub- 
lished. My  impression  is  that  some  years  ago  at 
Ottawa,  while  working  with  these  papers,  I  found 
various  allusions  to  the  offering  of  bounties,  either  for 

386  LIFE  OF 

prisoners  or  scalps;  but  I  find  here  no  note  regarding 
the  matter." 

Mr.  William  Smith  of  Ottawa,  official  in  charge  of 
the  Manuscript  Room  of  the  Public  Archives  of 
Canada,  in  response  to  inquiries  from  the  Reviser, 
had  a  careful  search  made  through  the  Haldimand 
and  Bouquet  collections,  which  are  well  calendared, 
but  found  nothing  in  connection  with  bounties  of- 
fered by  the  King  of  England  for  the  return  of 
prisoners.  Later,  Mr.  Smith  furnished  the  following 

"With  further  reference  to  your  letter  of  the  loth 
inst.,  the  officer  in  charge  of  the  manuscripts  has  laid 
before  me  certain  papers,  which  I  am  inclined  to  think 
furnish  the  answer  to  your  question.  These  are 
three  treaties  of  peace  signed  with  various  tribes  of 
Indians,  in  each  of  which  it  is  stipulated  on  the  part 
of  the  English  and  agreed  to  by  the  Indians  that  all 
prisoners  in  the  hands  of  the  latter  shall  be  released. 
The  first  is  between  Sir  William  Johnson  and  the 
' deputies'  sent  from  the  whole  Seneca  Nation.  It 
was  made  on  the  3rd  of  April,  1764.  The  second  is 
with  the  'Chenussios  Indians  and  enemy  Senecas/ 
It  provides  that  the  Chenussios  shall  deliver  up  at 
the  same  time  Sherlock  the  Deserter  and  prisoners 
yet  amongst  them,  so  as  they  may  accompany  those 
fourteen  already  delivered  up  to  Sir  William  Johnson. 
It  was  signed  on  the  6th  August,  1764.  The  third  is 
with  the  Huron  Indians  of  Detroit.  It  provides  that 
'any  English  who  may  be  prisoners  or  deserters  and 
any  negroes,  Panis  or  other  slaves  amongst  the  Hurons 
who  are  British  Property  shall  be  delivered  up/  This 
was  signed  on  the  i8th  July,  1764.  I  have  not  had 
time  to  go  further,  but  this  may  answer  your  enquiry. 
In  any  case  there  was  no  disposition  with  the  English 
at  this  time  to  secure  the  return  of  prisoners  by  means 
of  gifts." 


Still  later  Mr.  Smith  furnished  the  following: 

"Today  I  have  gone  over  the  series  of  documents  re- 
lating to  the  Indians  from  1765  until  1768,  and  am 
convinced  that  there  is  no  information  such  as  you  are 
seeking,  in  the  papers  of  that  period.  I  notice  you 
lay  some  stress  on  the  phrase  'the  King  of  England/ 
but  that  phrase  was  used  frequently  in  similar  con- 
nections, when  no  more  was  meant  than  the  Governor, 
or  other  person  in  authority.  I  am  sorry  I  cannot 
help  you  to  arrive  at  finality,  though  I  think  the  high 
probability  is  not  in  favor  of  the  view  derived  from 
Mrs.  Jemison's  books." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

90.  No  SENECA  KINGS. 

(Page  59,  line  23.) 

There  is  no  propriety  whatever  in  calling  any  of 
the  Seneca  chiefs  by  the  title  of  King.  The  nation 
was  originally  governed  by  eight  sachems,  all  of 
whom  were  equal  in  rank  and  authority;  and  the 
title  was  hereditary  in  the  tribe,  although  not  strictly 
in  the  family  of  the  individual.  The  son  could  never 
succeed  his  father,  because  the  father  and  son  were 
always  of  different  tribes.  There  were  eight  tribes 
in  the  Seneca  nation — the  Wolf,  Bear,  Beaver,  Deer, 
Turtle,  Snipe,  Heron,  and  Hawk.  No  man  was  al- 
lowed to  marry  into  his  own  clan;  and  the  children 
were  of  the  tribe  of  the  mother.  The  title  being 
hereditary  in  the  tribe  and  clan,  the  son  was  thereby 
excluded  from  the  succession.  At  a  later  day  a  class 
of  chiefs  were  created  subordinate  to  the  sachems; 
but  in  course  of  time  they  came  to  have  an  equal 
voice  with  the  sachems  in  the  administration  of  the 
affairs  of  the  nation.  The  office  was  elective,  and  for 
life,  and  was  not  hereditary.  To  this  day  they  have 

388  LIFE  OF 

the  eight  sachems,  still  holding  by  the  ancient  tenure, 
and  about  seventy  chiefs. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  62,  line  16.) 

In  "the  report  of  the  special  committee  appointed 
by  the  Assembly  of  1888  to  investigate  the  Indian 
Problem  of  the  State,"  at  pages  19-20,  is  the  following 
passage,  beginning  with  a  reference  to  Thomas  Morris: 

"He  went  into  their  country,  followed  their  trails 
from  the  wigwam  of  one  chief  to  that  of  another,  and 
after  much  difficulty  and  the  use  of  all  his  persuasive 
arts,  the  Indians  agreed  to  hold  a  conference,  and 
designated  Big  Tree,  now  Geneseo,  as  the  place 
where  the  same  should  be  held.  President  Washing- 
ton nominated  Jeremiah  Wadsworth  as  commissioner 
on  the  part  of  the  United  States,  and  the  interested 
parties  met  together  in  August,  1797,  and  negotiations 
began.  .  .  .  Negotiations  were  resumed  and  on  the  i$th 
day  of  September,  1797,  the  treaty  was  signed  which 
transferred  nearly  all  the  country  which  now  com- 
prises Western  New  York  from  the  hands  of  the  red 
men  to  their  white  neighbors." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  63,  line  5.) 

Mr.  O'Reilly,  in  his  "History  of  Rochester  and 
Western  New  York,"  page  56,  interpolates  after  the 
words  French  War,  "or,  rather,  after  the  termination 
of  the  difficulties  consequent  on  the  connection  of  the 
Senecas  with  the  conspiracy  of  Pontiac."  The 
French  War  ended  with  the  Peace  of  Paris,  February 
10,  1763. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



(Page  63,  line  7.) 

The  French  War  was  concluded  in  1763  and  the 
American  Revolution  began  in  1775,  but  the  Senecas 
did  not  take  part  in  the  conflict  till  some  time  in  1777 
or  1778. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  65,  line  6.) 

The  council  between  the  commissioners  of  the 
twelve  United  Colonies  and  the  Six  Nations  convened 
at  German  Flats  August  15  and  16,  1775,  and  con- 
cluded its  sittings  at  Albany,  September  1st. — Letch- 
worthy  ed.  1880. 

Mr.  Frank  H.  Severance  of  Buffalo  furnishes  the  fol- 
lowing memorandum  on  this  subject: 

"There  are  many  references  to  the  Council  at 
German  Flats  in  the  books;  the  most  explicit  I  find 
is  in  Benton's  'History  of  Herkimer  County.'  On 
the  28th  of  June,  1775,  a  council  was  held  there  be- 
tween inhabitants  of  the  district  and  the  Oneidas 
and  Tuscaroras,  which  was  also  attended  by  a  depu- 
tation from  Albany  and  resulted  in  a  pledge  of  neu- 
trality by  most  of  the  Indians  present.  (Page  69.) 
Another  council,  which  I  take  to  be  the  one  which 
you  ask  about,  was  held  at  German  Flats,  August 
15  and  16,  1775,  'To  induce  the  six  nations  to  send 
deputies  to  Albany  to  meet  the  American  commis- 
sioners, where  it  was  proposed  to  kindle  up  a  great 
council  fire/  The  council  at  Albany  opened  August 
23rd  and  closed  August  31,  1775.  This  last  date  sub- 
stantially agrees  with  the  note  in  the  1880  edition 
of  the  Jemison  book  reprinted  on  p.  112  of  the  1898, 
1910  and  1913  editions/' 

390  LIFE  OF 


(Page  65,  line  23.) 

The  council  between  the  British  commissioners  and 
those  of  the  Six  Nations  convened  at  Fort  Oswego  in 
July,  1777.  Mrs.  Jemison  errs  in  making  the  Fort 
Oswego  council  only  "one  year"  after  the  council 
between  the  twelve  United  Colonies  and  the  Six 
Nations,  and  consequently  the  date  1776  which  is 
given  later  (page  67)  and  the  three  events  assigned  ap- 
parently to  that  year  are  equally  in  error  as  to  date. 
In  particular,  the  capture  referred  to,  of  prisoners  at 
Cherry  Valley  was  in  all  probability  still  another  year 
later — that  is,  in  1778. 

Mr.  Frank  H.  Severance  furnishes  the  following 
memorandum  concerning  the  Oswego  council: 

"Besides  the  references  given  in  your  letter,  I  refer 
you  to  Churchill's  *  Landmarks  of  Oswego  County/ 
page  107,  where  it  is  stated:  'In  July  (1777),  Brant 
arrived  at  Oswego  with  a  band  of  followers  and  they 
were  soon  joined  by  other  parties  of  warriors  of  the 
six  nations.  Butler  came  from  Niagara  to  take  part 
in  the  council  to  be  held/  Churchill  gives  no  exact 
dates,  but  he  adds:  *  About  the  time  the  council  closed 
St.  Leger  arrived/  This  was  prior  to  July  27,  when 
the  first  detachment  of  St.  Leger's  army  left  Oswego. 
A  more  satisfactory  reference  perhaps  will  be  found 
in  Stone's  'Life  of  Brant/  volume  I,  edition  of  1851. 
In  chapter  8,  page  187,  some  account  of  this  council 
is  given  and  a  footnote  refers  to  the  account  in  the 
'Life  of  Mary  Jemison/  as  being  the  best  known 
record  of  it.  On  page  210  it  is  stated  that  'Col. 
Butler  was  to  arrive  at  Oswego  on  the  I4th  day  of 
July,  from  Niagara,  to  hold  a  council  with  the  six 
nations/  This  perhaps  fixes  the  date  of  the  opening 
of  the  council  at  about  the  I4th  or  I5th  July." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



(Page  66,  line  25.) 

Unanimity  was  a  fundamental  law  of  the  Iroquois 
civil  polity.  When  the  question  of  joining  the 
English  came  before  the  council  of  the  League  the 
Oneidas  refused  to  concur,  and  thus  defeated  the 
measure;  but  it  was  agreed  that  each  nation  might 
engage  in  it  upon  its  own  responsibility.  It  was  im- 
possible to  keep  the  Mohawks  from  the  English 
alliance. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

97.  CAU-TE-GA. 

(Page  67,  line  8.) 

Dr.  W.  M.  Beauchamp  in  a  memorandum  says  that 
Cau-te-ga  is  almost  certainly  a  form  of  Adega  as  that 
is  of  Otega.  There  were  settlers  south  of  Otsego  Lake 
in  1776  and  Indian  hostilities  commenced  there. — Re- 
viser, ed.  1918. 


(Page  67,  line  18.) 

Unquestionably  the  reference  here  is  to  the  case 
of  Mrs.  John  Moore  who  with  her  three  daughters 
was  captured  at  Cherry  Valley  at  the  time  of  the 
massacre,  November  n,  1778,  and  was  taken  to 
Kanadesaga  (Geneva)  with  Mrs.  Jane  Campbell  and 
her  four  children  and  certain  others.  At  Kana- 
desaga the  families  were  separated.  About  a  year 
later  Mrs.  Moore  and  her  children  were  exchanged 
and  returned  to  Cherry  Valley,  with  the  exception  of 
one  daughter,  Jane,  who  had,  not  long  after  her 
arrival  at  Niagara,  married  a  Captain  Powell  (not 

392  LIFE  OF 

Johnson  as  Mary  Jemison  states,  page  68),  an  English 
officer  of  excellent  reputation,  with  whom  she  re- 
mained in  Canada.  (See  "History  of  Cherry  Val- 
ley" by  John  Sawyer.) — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  67,  line  29.) 

Mr.  Conover  in  his  history  of  "Kanadesaga  and 
Geneva"  notes  that  Joseph  Smith  was  quite  a 
prominent  character  at  an  early  day  at  Canandaigua, 
and  that  he  had  been  a  captain  among  the  Indians 
and  when  finally  set  free  had  chosen  to  remain  among 
them. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  68,  line  9.) 

The  battle  of  Fort  Stanwix,  or  Fort  Schuyler,  or 
Oriskany,  as  it  is  variously  styled,  was  fought  August 
6,  1777. — Reviser •,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  69,  line  24.) 

General  Sullivan's  expedition  of  destruction  reached 
Kanadesaga  (Geneva)  Thursday,  September  7,  1779, 
the  Valley  of  the  Genesee  the  I4th,  and  arrived  back 
at  Kanadesaga  the  I9th. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  72,  line  15.) 

The  name  of  Lieutenant  Boyd  should  be  Thomas, 
not  William  as  printed  in  the  text.  See  also  descrip- 
tion of  his  fate  on  pages  149-156. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

The  horrible  death  of  Lieutenant  Thomas  Boyd,  as 


described  by  Mary  Jemison  in  the  foregoing  pages, 
and  the  cruel  torture  to  which  the  Indians  subjected 
their  captives,  are  so  revolting  as  to  shock  every 
feeling  of  humanity;  but  it  should  be  borne  in  mind 
that  such  inhuman  practices  are  not  special  charac- 
teristics of  the  Indian  race.  Their  parallel  may  not 
infrequently  be  found  in  the  annals  of  the  white  race. 
The  people  of  Spain,  at  the  time  they  took  possession 
of  the  island  of  San  Domingo,  claimed  to  be  refined, 
chivalrous,  and  believers  in  Christianity.  After  sub- 
jugating the  inhabitants  of  the  island  they  reduced 
them  to  a  condition  of  abject  servitude.  Under  an 
organized  system  the  Indians  were  apportioned  to 
Spanish  gentlemen  by  the  Government,  to  work  on 
their  plantations  and  in  the  gold  mines  during  eight 
months  of  the  year.  Cruel  tasks  were  exacted  of 
these  laborers  and  insufficient  food  supplied  them. 
When  the  condition  of  these  once  proud  and  inde- 
pendent Indians  became  intolerable  they  revolted 
against  it.  In  the  province  of  Higuey  they  were 
overcome  by  the  Spaniards  and  great  numbers  were 
indiscriminately  slaughtered.  Such  as  escaped  to  the 
mountains  were  hunted  like  wild  beasts.  It  is  re- 
corded in  Irving's  "Life  of  Columbus"  that — 

"Sometimes  they  would  hunt  down  a  straggling 
Indian  and  compel  him,  by  torments,  to  betray  the 
hiding-place  of  his  companions,  binding  him  and 
driving  him  before  them  as  a  guide.  Wherever  they 
discovered  one  of  these  places  of  refuge  filled  with  the 
aged  and  infirm,  with  feeble  women  and  helpless 
children,  they  massacred  them  without  mercy.  They 
wished  to  inspire  terror  throughout  the  land,  and  to 
frighten  the  whole  tribe  into  submission.  They  cut 
off  the  hands  of  those  whom  they  took  roving  at  large, 


394  LIFE  OF 

and  sent  them,  as  they  said,  to  deliver  them  as  letters 
to  their  friends,  demanding  their  surrender. 

"The  conquerors  delighted  in  exercising  strange 
and  ingenious  cruelties.  They  mingled  horrible 
levity  with  their  bloodthirstiness.  They  erected  gib- 
bets long  and  low,  so  that  the  feet  of  the  sufferers 
might  reach  the  ground,  and  their  death  be  lingering. 
They  hanged  thirteen  together,  in  reverence  of  our 
blessed  Savior  and  the  twelve  apostles.  While  their 
victims  were  suspended,  and  still  living,  they  hacked 
them  with  their  swords  to  prove  the  strength  of  their 
arms  and  the  edge  of  their  weapons.  They  wrapped 
them  in  dry  straw,  and  setting  fire  to  it,  terminated 
their  existence  by  the  fiercest  agony. 

"These  are  horrible  details,  yet  a  veil  is  drawn 
over  others  still  more  detestable  They  are  related 
circumstantially  by  Las  Casas,  who  was  an  eye 
witness.  He  was  young  at  the  time,  but  records 
them  in  his  advanced  years.  'All  these  things/  says 
the  venerable  Bishop,  'and  others  revolting  to  human 
nature,  did  my  own  eyes  behold;  and  now  I  almost 
fear  to  repeat  them,  scarce  believing  myself,  or 
whether  I  have  not  dreamt  them/" 

Even  in  our  own  day  we  read  of  two  Seminole 
Indians  who,  on  suspicion  of  murder,  without  legal 
examination  or  sanction  by  court  or  jury,  were  chained 
to  an  oak  tree  by  a  mob  of  whites,  surrounded  with 
combustible  material,  and  burned  to  death.  Their 
skeletons  were  left  hanging  in  the  chains  encircling 
them,  a  ghastly  spectacle  to  passing  beholders.  This 
occurred  at  Paris,  Texas,  on  the  border-land  of  the 
Indian  Territory,  January,  1898. 

The  torture  of  Lieutenant  Boyd  by  the  Iroquois 
was  inflicted  while  the  Indians  were  highly  exasper- 
ated and  filled  with  a  spirit  of  revenge  at  the  destruc- 
tion of  their  houses,  crops,  and  means  of  subsistence 
by  Sullivan's  army;  while  the  whites  of  San  Domingo, 


inspired  by  the  baser  motive  of  avarice,  committed 
in  cold  blood  the  barbarities  described. 

—Letchworth,  ed.  1898. 


(Page  73,  line  17.) 

Later  editions  describe  this  creek  as  "Stony 
Creek,  which  empties  into  the  Tonawanda  Creek 
at  Varysburg,  Wyoming  County."  Dr.  Beauchamp 
notes  that  the  name  Catawba  is  a  southern  name  and 
not  an  Iroquois  word. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  75,  line  15.) 

The  succeeding  winter  was  that  of  1780.  Mary 
Jemison's  description  of  this  remarkable  winter  in 
western  New  York  is  confirmed  in  the  Fifth  Annual 
Report  of  the  Meteorological  Bureau  and  Weather 
Service  of  the  State  of  New  York,  which  speaks  of 
the  winter  of  1780  as  showing  the  most  signal  and 
severe  depression  of  temperature  belonging  to  our  entire 
history,  excepting  perhaps  that  of  1856.  A  special 
feature  mentioned  in  the  Report  is  worth  repeating: 

"  People  did  ride  with  horses  and  sleighs  from  New 
York  to  Staten  Island  *  *  *  and  from  New  York  to 
Paulus  Hook  and  Bergen  and  also  to  Long  Island, 
and  did  ride  upon  the  ice  from  New  York  to  Albany 
and  further,  and  also  crossed  the  Sound  upon  ice 
from  New  London  to  Long  Island  with  carriages  of 
burden,  which  has  never  been  known  to  have  been 
done  before." 

Since  1780  exceptional  seasons  of  similar  character 
have  occurred  within  the  State  of  New  York  at  in- 
tervals of  approximately  twenty  years: 

396  LIFE  OF 

1798-9:  Smock's  Climatology  of  New  Jersey  speaks 
of  this  winter  as  "A  long  and  severe  winter,  with 
much  snow;  March  I2th,  deep  snow.  1799  c°ld 
weather  in  spring;  ice,  April  2Oth;  frost,  June  5th." 

1816:  The  New  York  Weather  Service  Report 
mentioned  above  notes  that  from  May  to  September, 
1812,  each  month  was  from  3.6  degrees  to  7.2  degrees 
below  the  average  (at  Cambridge,  Mass.),  a  refrigera- 
tion equaled  for  two  months  only,  June  and  July,  of 
1816,  which  were  5  degrees  and  5.8  degrees  below. 
In  the  Northern  States  snow  and  frosts  occurred  in 
every  month  of  both  summers;  Indian  corn  did  not 
ripen;  fruits  and  grains  were  greatly  reduced  in 
quantity  and  wholly  cut  off.  In  England,  1816  was 
almost  as  extreme  as  in  the  United  States. 

J#J5:  On  the  night  of  the  i6th  of  December  of  this 
year,  the  year  of  the  Great  Fire  in  New  York  City, 
the  weather  was  phenomenally  cold,  the  coldest 
known  for  many  years.  An  alarm  of  fire  having  been 
raised,  the  firemen  in  responding  found  out  that  the 
water  froze  in  the  pipes  before  it  could  be  used. 

j#55  and  1856:  In  1855  the  waters  of  Seneca  Lake 
were  completely  covered  with  ice,  February  24  and  25. 
This  refrigeration  is  known  as  the  first  Ice-cap  of  the 
Seneca.  The  very  extraordinary  character  of  the 
winter  of  1856  is  described  in  the  Fifth  Annual  Report 
of  the  New  York  Meteorological  Bureau  quoted  above. 

1875:  The  second  complete  Ice-cap  of  Seneca  Lake 
was  formed  February  9  and  10. 

1885:  The  third  complete  Ice-cap  of  Seneca  Lake 
occurred  February  23  and  24. 

1912:  The  fourth  complete  Ice-cap  of  Seneca  Lake 
occurred  February  10  and  n. 

There  may  have  been  complete  ice-caps  previous  to 


1855  but  no  records  of  such  are  known.  The  four  ice- 
caps here  mentioned  were  recorded  and  described 
by  John  Corbett,  editor  of  The  Schuyler  County 

The  only  mention  so  far  as  the  Reviser  knows  of  an 
exceptional  season  in  the  land  of  the  Senecas  previous 
to  1780,  the  year  described  by  Mary  Jemison,  is  a 
characterization  in  the  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the 
New  York  Weather  Service  of  the  year  1740-41  as 
"the  hard  winter  so  called." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

105.  JOHN  O'BAIL. 

(Page  77,  line  16.) 

The  name  O'Bail  is  apparently  only  another  form 
of  the  name  Abeel.  Mr.  W.  Max  Reid's  "The  Mo- 
hawk Valley.  Its  Legends  and  Its  History,"  G.  P. 
Putnam's  Sons,  1907 — a  definitive  work  on  its  sub- 
ject—says, page  134: 

"Certain  lands  are  spoken  of  as  being  parts  of  the 
Wilson  and  Abeel  patent,  granted  to  Ebenezer  Wilson 
and  John  Abeel,  the  father  of  the  celebrated  half- 
breed,  Cornplanter,  who  was  on  General  Washing- 
ton's staff  during  the  Revolution." 

That  O'Bail  is  a  variant  of  Abeel  is  signally  con- 
firmed by  the  following  memorandum  received  from 
Mr.  Robert  H.  Kelby,  the  librarian  of  The  New  York 
Historical  Society: 

"Christopher  Janse  Abeel  was  the  progenitor  of 
this  family  in  America.  John  Abeel,  an  Indian 
trader,  settled  in  the  town  Minden,  a  short  distance 
from  Fort  Plain,  in  1748.  He  secured  several  hun- 
dred acres  of  land  of  one  of  the  grantees  of  the 

398  LIFE  OF 

Bleecker  Patent.  (Whittemore's  'Abeel  and  Allied 
Families/  page  4,  quoting  the  History  of  Montgom- 
ery County,  pages  218  and  233.)  The  same  book, 
speaking  of  the  Indian  marriage,  says:  'There  may 
have  been  an  effort  on  the  part  of  those  interested 
to  cover  up  the  facts  at  the  time  by  permitting  a  mis- 
spelling of  the  name  which  has  passed  into  history 
as  O'Bail  (easily  mistaken  for  Abeel)" 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  77,  Hne  23.) 

Cornplanter's  tomahawk  is  now  in  the  State  Indian 
Collection  at  Albany. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

This  interesting  relic  narrowly  escaped  destruction 
in  the  fire  in  the  State  Capitol  in  1911.  It  was 
rescued  by  Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker  who  took  it  from 
a  burning  case.  The  head  of  the  hatchet  was  too 
hot  to  touch  and  the  handle  was  sizzling  with  hot 
varnish. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  79,  line  31.) 

"Ebenezer  Allen  was  no  hero,  but,  rather,  a  des- 
perado. He  warred  against  his  own  race,  country, 
and  color;  and  vied  with  his  savage  allies  in  deeds  of 
cruelty  and  bloodshed.  He  was  a  native  of  New 
Jersey." — (Turner's  "History  of  the  Holland  Pur- 
chase," p.  297.) — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  87,  line  21.) 

For  Mr.  Maude's  account  of  Allen's  mill  see 
O'Reilly's  "Rochester  and  Western  New  York,"  page 
357.  The  grist  and  saw  mill  built  on  the  Genesee 


River  at  the  Rochester  Falls  by  Ebenezer  Allen  in 
1789  is  not  to  be  confused  with  the  saw  mill  erected 
by  Messrs.  Ziba  Hurd  and  Alva  Palmer  in  1823  just 
above  the  Middle  Fall  of  the  Genesee  on  ground  now 
constituting  a  portion  of  Letchworth  Park.  (See 
page  181  preceding  and  note  No.  148.) — Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  89,  line  8.) 

Turner,  in  his  "History  of  the  Holland  Purchase," 
page  301,  gives  the  name  of  this  wife  as  Mille 
M'Gregor.— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  89,  line  25.) 

The  amount  of  land  given  by  the  Indians  to  Allen's 
children,  here  stated  to  be  "four  miles  square,"  is 
corrected  in  later  editions  to  "two  miles  square." — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  90,  line  23.) 

The  remainder  of  this  paragraph,  describing  Allen's 
persistence  in  urging  his  daughter's  title  to  the  land, 
was  omitted  from  the  1842  Batavia  editions  for  some 
reason  not  stated. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  92,  line  4.) 

"Governor  Simcoe  granted  him  three  thousand 
acres  of  land,  upon  condition  that  he  would  build  a 
saw-mill,  a  grist-mill,  and  a  church — all  but  the 

400  LIFE  OF 

church  to  be  his  property.  He  performed  his  part  of 
the  contract,  and  the  title  to  his  land  was  confirmed. 
In  a  few  years,  he  had  his  mills,  a  comfortable  dwell- 
ing, large  improvements,  was  a  good  liver,  and  those 
who  knew  him  at  that  period  represent  him  as  hos- 
pitable and  obliging.  About  the  year  1806,  or  1807, 
reverses  began  to  overtake  him.  At  one  period  he 
was  arrested,  and  tried  for  forgery;  at  another,  for 
passing  counterfeit  money;  at  another,  for  larceny. 
He  was  acquitted  of  each  offense  upon  trial.  He  was 
obnoxious  to  many  of  his  white  neighbors,  and  it  is 
likely  that  a^  least  two  of  the  charges  against  him 
arose  out  of  a  combination  that  was  promoted  by 
personal  enmity.  All  this  brought  on  embarrass- 
ments, which  terminated  in  an  almost  entire  loss  of 
his  large  property.  He  died  in  1814."  (Turner's 
"History  of  the  Holland  Purchase,"  p.  302-3.)— 
Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  94.  line  27.) 

Those  interested  to  read  a  judicious  appreciation 
of  Red  Jacket,  but  too  long  for  citation  here,  are  re- 
ferred to  Mr.  J.  N.  B.  Hewitt's  article  "Red  Jacket" 
in  "The  Handbook  of  American  Indians.  Bulletin 
30,  Part  2." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  94,  line  28.) 

The  New  York  State  Ethnologist,  Mr.  Arthur  C. 
Parker,  in  answer  to  a  query  as  to  probable  cause  of 
the  application  to  Red  Jacket  of  the  name,  "Keeper 
Awake,"  furnishes  this  memorandum: 

"I  beg  to  say  that  the  original  name  and  perhaps 
the  only  official  name  ever  held  by  Red  Jacket  was 
Otftiam,  as  you  have  quoted  it  from  the  hand  book. 


The  donor  of  Letchworth  Park  where  Mary  Jemison  is  buried. 


It  was  sometimes  translated  Always  Ready  but  per- 
haps the  simpler  translation  He  is  prepared  would 
be  more  correct.  I  do  not  know  that  there  is  any 
record  that  the  name  Sagoyewatha  was  ever  used  as 
the  name  of  the  principal  chief  of  the  Confederacy. 
It  was  given  to  him  when  he  was  declared  a  Pine 
Tree  chief.  This  latter  name,  sometimes  pronounced 
by  my  informants  Sa-go-ye-wa-tha,  signifies  He  makes 
them  to  be  awake.  This  word  was  derived  from 
Wa-yen-yet,  He  wakes  them,  and  from  Ho-ye-tha,  with 
the  same  meaning.  I  have  frequently  heard  that  this 
name  was  selected  because  of  Red  Jacket's  noisiness 
when  coming  home  from  a  drinking  affair  in  town. 
At  any  rate,  many  of  the  Seneca,  if  not  most  of  them, 
to-day  look  upon  the  name  somewhat  derisively  and 
assert  that  it  was  merely  a  nick-name  describing  one 
of  his  traits.  In  explanation  of  this,  however,  it 
may  be  said  that  the  modern  Seneca  were  greatly 
prejudiced  against  Red  Jacket  by  his  enemy  the 
prophet  Handsome  Lake,  who  wove  into  his  doc- 
trines, which  are  still  preached  among  the  so-called 
pagans,  a  scathing  criticism  of  Red  Jacket  and 
branded  him  as  a  land  seller.  Handsome  Lake  there- 
fore has  created  a  large  following  with  a  hereditary 
prejudice  against  the  great  orator." 

Dr.  Beauchamp  adds  the  following:  " Sa-go-wat-ha 
was  a  frequent  Cayuga  name,  and  as  Red  Jacket  was 
born  on  Cayuga  Lake  he  probably  had  a  Cayuga 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  94,  line  29.) 

In  later  editions  the  expression  "opposed  me  or  my 
claim"  was  changed  to  "opposed  me  and  my  claim." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

402  LIFE  OF 

1 1 6.  THE  GARDOW  TRACT. 

(Page  95,  line  4.) 

Later  editions  add  "or  the  Gardeau  Reservation." 
Dr.  Beauchamp  notes  in  his  "Aboriginal  Place 
Names"  that  according  to  Morgan  "Gardow  or 
Gardeau  should  be  Ga-da'-o,  meaning  bank  in  front.19 

The  site  of  Mary  Jemison's  home  on  Gardeau 
Flats  is  about  five  or  five  and  a  half  miles  in  an  air- 
line northeast  of  the  Middle  Fall  at  Letchworth  Park 
and  about  three  and  a  half  miles  in  an  air-line  east- 
northeast  of  Castile.  It  is  on  the  alluvial  flat  half  a 
mile  wide  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Genesee  river.  In 
1918  it  was  difficult  of  access  on  account  of  the  con- 
dition of  the  roads;  but  the  pilgrim  who  is  not  afraid 
of  a  little  climbing  will  be  repaid  by  a  visit  to  this 
peaceful  and  secluded  valley  which  snuggles  down 
between  protecting  cliffs  500  feet  high  on  either  side 
of  the  river.  The  cliffs  on  the  right  bank  rise  almost 
perpendicularly,  and  are  the  characteristic  which  gives 
the  meaning  of  Ga-da'-o,  as  stated  by  Morgan.  The 
land  is  extremely  fertile  and  at  the  time  of  the  publi- 
cation of  the  1918  edition  was  growing  flourishing 
crops  of  corn  and  beans,  as  in  the  Indian  days,  and 
other  crops.  The  site  of  Mary  Jemison's  house  is 
occupied  by  a  frame  dwelling  of  recent  construction, 
but  is  said  to  contain  some  of  its  original  timbers, 
and  tradition  points  to  one  post  in  its  framework 
bearing  tomahawk  marks.  About  eighty  rods  north 
of  the  site  is  still  to  be  seen  the  picturesque  log  cabin 
of  Mary  Jemison's  daughter  Betsey  (see  page  144). 
The  log  cabin  of  Mary  Jemison's  daughter  Nancy, 
which  formerly  stood  eighty  rods  south  of  Mary 
Jemison's  cabin  (see  page  143)  is  now  in  Letchworth 


Park  near  Mary  Jemison's  grave,  as  stated  on  page 
237.  Indian  arrow  points  and  spear-heads  are 
occasionally  found  in  the  vicinity. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  95,  line  8.) 

The  reference  here  is  to  Jasper  Parrish  and  Capt. 
Horatio  Jones,  the  first  being  the  Indian  agent  of  the 
United  States  and  the  other  interpreter.  Both  of 
these  men  had  been  taken  prisoners  by  the  Indians 
and  adopted,  and  had  been  detained  with  them  many 
years. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

1 1 8.  KAU-TAM. 

(Page  95,  line  15.) 

This  name  should  be  spelled  Kautan.  There  are 
no  labials  in  the  Iroquois  dialect.  Dr.  Beauchamp 
prefers  Kautaw  to  Kautan,  and  similarly  Gardow  to 
Gardeau. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  98,  line  17.) 

The  following  memorandum  is  furnished  by  Mr. 
Arthur  C.  Parker  in  response  to  an  inquiry: 

"Regarding  the  statement  that  Tom  Jemison  struck 
Hiokatoo, — the  Indians  were  like  many  of  the 
Oriental  races  in  denouncing  a  child  who  struck  his 

Earent.     It  was  a  sin  that  was  never  easily  forgiven 
y  the  people,  inasmuch  as  all  the  religious  training 
of  the  Seneca  taught  the  veneration  of  parents  and 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

4o4  LIFE  OF 

1 2O.    TONEWANTA. 

(Page  103,  line  29.) 

In  later  editions  Tonewanta  is  spelled  Tonawanda. 
— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  105,  line  25.) 

Note  A  of  the  Appendix  of  Mr.  O'Reilly's  "History 
of  Rochester  and  Western  New  York"  points  out  that 
a  change  in  the  spelling  of  a  single  name  (Cotawpes  to 
Catazvbas)  renders  the  testimony  of  Mrs.  Jemison 
accordant  with  that  of  Governor  Clinton  respecting 
the  wars  between  the  Six  Nations  and  the  southern 
Indians.  All  the  later  editions  of  Dr.  Seaver's  "Life 
of  Mary  Jemison"  read  Catazvbas. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  105,  line  27.) 

Later  editions  correctly  amend  Dr.  Seaver's  state- 
ment by  placing  Clarksville  in  the  County  of  Mont- 
gomery, Tenn. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  106,  last  line.) 

The  Rev.  Dr.  Donehoo,  secretary  of  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Historical  Commission,  furnishes  this  memoran- 
dum concerning  the  affair  at  Fort  Freeland: 

"The  massacre  at  Fort  Freeland  was  July  29, 
1779  (not  1777,  as  stated).  This  fort  was  situated 
on  Warriors'  Run,  near  Watsontown,  Pa.,  about  one 
mile  east  of  Warriors'  Run  Church.  The  fort  was 


surrounded  by  about  300  British  and  Indians,  under 
the  command  of  Capt.  McDonald.  There  were  but 
21  men  in  the  fort,  which  was  surrendered — the  women 
and  children  being  allowed  to  leave.  These  went  to 
Fort  Augusta,  at  the  present  Sunbury,  Pa.  The 
men  were  held  as  prisoners.  After  the  fort  had 
surrendered  Capts.  Boone  and  Daugherty — well 
known  frontiersmen — arrived  with  30  men.  They 
supposed  that  the  fort  was  still  in  the  hands  of  the 
Americans.  Making  a  dash  across  Warriors1  Run, 
they  were  surrounded  by  Indians.  Capts.  Hawkins, 
Boone  and  Samuel  Daugherty,  with  half  their  force, 
were  killed.  Thirteen  scalps  of  this  party  were  taken 
into  the  fort.  Samuel  Brady,  the  famous  Indian 
fighter,  was  in  this  attack,  but  escaped.  There  was 
no  'massacre/  as  the  52  women  and  children  were 
allowed  to  leave  the  fort.  Capt.  McDonald,  the 
British  officer  in  command,  prevented  the  massacre 
of  the  women  and  children.  The  capture  of  this 
fort  by  the  Indians  caused  the  most  wide-spread 
terror  throughout  the  entire  West  Branch  Valley. 
All  of  the  roads  leading  to  Fort  Augusta  were  thronged 
with  settlers  who  had  deserted  their  homes.  Hiokatoo 
was  in  command  of  the  Indians  at  this  attack." 

— Reviser,  ed.  igi8. 


(Page  ii2,  line  9.) 

The  spot  where  Crawford  suffered  was  a  few  miles 
west  of  Upper  Sandusky,  according  to  Colonel  John 
Johnston  in  Howe's  "Historical  Collections  of  Ohio," 
page  546. — Reviser •,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  113,  line  29.) 

For  a  somewhat  fuller  account  than  the  one  here 
given  of  the  Crawford-Knight-Williamson  affair  see 

406  LIFE  OF 

Howe's  "Historical  Collections  of  Ohio,"  pages  543^- 
549. — Revisery  ed.  1918. 


(Page  115,  line  24.) 

"The  Narrative  of  Dr.  Knight,"  written  by  himself 
according  to  Judge  H.  H.  Brackenridge's  recollection, 
is  the  fifth  in  a  collection  of  fifty  narratives  published 
in  one  large  octavo  volume  at  Chambersburg,  Pa., 
in  1839,  by  J.  Pritts,  and  entitled  "Incidents  of  Border 
Life  Illustrative  of  the  Times  and  Conditions  of  the 
First  Settlements  in  Parts  of  the  Middle  and  Western 
States,"  &c.  The  narrative  is  nine  pages  in  length 
and  recites  many  harrowing  details  not  in  Mary 
Jemison's  version.  A  copy  of  this  very  rare  book  is 
owned  by  Dr.  Donehoo.  The  date  of  the  first  appear- 
ance of  Dr.  Knight's  narrative  is  not  there  given. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  122,  line  21.) 

"Soon  after  the  War  of  1812,  an  altercation  oc- 
curred between  David  Reese,  (who  was  at  that  time 
the  government  blacksmith  for  the  Senecas,  upon 
the  reservation  near  Buffalo,)  and  a  Seneca  Indian 
called  Young  King,  which  resulted  in  a  severe  blow 
with  a  scythe,  inflicted  by  Reese,  which  nearly 
severed  one  of  the  Indian's  arms;  so  near,  in  fact, 
that  amputation  was  immediately  resorted  to.  The 
circumstance  created  considerable  excitement  among 
the  Indians,  which  extended  to  Gardeau,  the  then 
home  of  the  Jemison  family.  John  Jemison  headed 
a  party  from  there,  and  went  to  Buffalo,  giving  out, 
as  he  traveled  along  the  road,  that  he  was  going  to 
kill  Reese.  The  author  saw  him  on  his  way,  and 


recollects  how  well  he  personated  the  ideal  Angel  of 
Death.  His  weapons  were  the  war-club  and  the 
tomahawk;  red  paint  was  daubed  on  his  swarthy 
face,  and  long  bunches  of  horse-hair,  colored  red, 
were  dangling  from  each  arm.  His  warlike  appear- 
ance was  well  calculated  to  give  an  earnest  to  his 
threats.  Reese  was  kept  secreted,  and  thus,  in  all 
probability,  avoided  the  fate  that  even  kindred  had 
met  at  the  hands  of  John  Jemison."  (Turner's 
'History  of  the  Holland  Purchase,"  p.  295.)— 
Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  123,  line  i.) 

Later  editions  change  Leicester  to  Genesee  Flats.  — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  126,  line  23.) 

In  later  editions,  friendly  is  corrected  to  unfriendly. 
—  Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  130,  line  34-) 

"The  greatest  of  all  human  crimes,  murder,  was 
punished  with  death;  but  the  act  was  open  to  con- 
donation. Unless  the  family  were  appeased,  the 
murderer,  as  with  the  ancient  Greeks,  was  given  up 
to  their  private  vengeance.  They  could  take  his  life 
wherever  they  found  him,  even  after  the  lapse  of 
years,  without  being  held  accountable.  A  present 
of  white  wampum  sent  on  the  part  of  the  murderer 
to  the  family  of  his  victim,  when  accepted,  forever 
obliterated  the  memory  of  the  transaction." 
("League  of  the  Iroquois,"  p.  331.)  —  Morgan,  ed. 

4o8  LIFE  OF 

131.  SPIRITS,  OR  RUM. 

(Page  141,  line  4.) 

The  word  spirits  is  here  used  singly  and  means  rum. 
Writing  in  1889,  Mr.  Conover  in  his  "Kanadesaga 
and  Geneva"  says:  "Rum  was  commonly  called 
spirits  even  up  to  as  late  as  30  or  40  years  ago.  The 
name  spirits,  when  used  singly,  was  never  applied  to 
any  other  kind  of  liquor." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  146,  line  4.) 

The  Devil's  Hole  is  a  sort  of  bay  or  indentation 
worn  by  the  water  into  the  cliff  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Niagara  River  about  four  miles  below  the  falls. 
Concerning  the  affair  there  in  1763  and  the  date, 
see  page  55  of  the  text,  also  notes  Nos.  78  and  87. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  152,  line  17.) 

In  his  history  of  "Kanadesaga  and  Geneva,"  page 
209,  George  S.  Conover,  speaking  of  the  affair  here 
referred  to,  says: 

"They  found  all  had  fled  and  not  a  soul  was  in  the 
town  save  a  little  white  boy  some  three  or  four  years 
old  who  was  entirely  naked  and  almost  starved. 
This  child  was  tenderly  cared  for  and  adopted  by 
Captain  Machin,  who  had  him  christened  Thomas 
Machin.  After  the  return  of  the  family  the  boy  was 
placed  with  a  family  near  Newburgh,  where  he  soon 
after  died  from  an  attack  of  the  smallpox.  No  clue 
was  ever  obtained  as  to  its  parentage." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


134.  GE-NUN-DE-WAH. 

(Page  157,  line  15.) 

The  true  name  of  the  Senecas  is  Nun-da-wa-o-no, 
from  Nun-da-wa-o,  a  great  hill.  Hence  the  name  of 

Nunda,  from  Nun-dd-o,  hilly. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

135.  NAU-WAN-E-U. 

(Page  161,  line  10.) 

Ha'-wen-ne'-yu. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 
136.  BAD  SPIRIT. 

(Page  162,  line  9.) 

Hd-ne-go-ate'-geh,  the  Evil-minded. — Morgan,  ed. 


(Page  163,  line  8.) 

"Six  regular  festivals,  or  'thanksgivings,'  were  ob- 
served by  the  Iroquois.  The  first  in  the  order  of 
time  was  the  Maple  festival.  This  was  a  return  of 
thanks  to  the  maple  itself,  for  yielding  its  sweet 
waters.  Next  was  the  Planting  festival,  designed 
chiefly  as  an  invocation  of  the  Great  Spirit  to  bless 
the  seed.  Third  came  the  Strawberry  festival,  in- 
stituted as  a  thanksgiving  for  the  first  fruits  of  the 
earth.  The  fourth  was  the  Green  Corn  festival, 
designed  as  a  thanksgiving  acknowledgment  for  the 
ripening  of  the  corn,  beans,  and  squashes.  Next  was 
celebrated  the  Harvest  festival,  instituted  as  a 
general  thanksgiving  to  'our  supporters/  after  the 
gathering  of  the  harvest.  Last  in  the  enumeration  is 
placed  the  New  Year's  festival,  the  great  jubilee  of 
the  Iroquois,  at  which  the  white  dog  was  sacrificed." 
("League  of  the  Iroquois,"  p.  183.) — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 



(Page  164,  last  line.) 

The  reason  for  the  change  from  two  dogs  to  one 
seems  to  have  been  the  difficulty  of  securing  proper 
animals,  the  ceremony  requiring  that  the  dogs  be  pure 
white. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  166,  line  32.) 

"On  the  morning  of  the  fifth  day,  soon  after  dawn, 
the  white  dog  was  burned  on  an  altar  of  wood,  erected 
by  the  keepers  of  the  faith,  near  the  council-house. 
It  is  difficult,  from  outward  observation,  to  draw 
forth  the  true  intent  with  which  the  dog  was  burned. 
The  obscurity  with  which  the  object  was  veiled  has 
led  to  various  conjectures.  Among  other  things,  it 
has  been  pronounced  a  sacrifice  for  sin.  In  the  religious 
system  of  the  Iroquois  there  is  no  recognition  of  the 
doctrine  of  atonement  for  sin,  or  of  the  absolution  or 
forgiveness  of  sins.  Upon  this  whole  subject  their 
system  is  silent.  An  act,  once  done,  was  registered 
beyond  the  power  of  change.  The  greatest  advance 
upon  this  point  of  faith  was  the  belief  that  good  deeds 
cancelled  the  evil,  thus  placing  heaven,  through  good 
works,  within  the  reach  of  all.  The  notion  that  this 
was  an  expiation  for  sin  is  thus  refuted  by  their  sys- 
tem of  theology  itself.  The  other  idea,  that  the  sins 
of  the  people,  by  some  mystic  process,  were  trans- 
ferred to  the  dog,  and  by  him  thus  borne  away,  on  the 
principle  of  the  scapegoat  of  the  Hebrews,  is  also 
without  any  foundation  in  truth.  The  burning  of 
the  dog  had  not  the  slightest  connection  with  the 
sin  of  the  people.  On  the  contrary,  the  simple  idea 
of  the  sacrifice  was,  to  send  up  the  spirit  of  the  dog 
as  a  messenger  to  the  Great  Spirit,  to  announce  their 
continued  fidelity  to  his  service,  and,  also,  to  convey 
to  him  their  united  thanks  for  the  blessings  of  the 


year.  The  fidelity  of  the  dog,  the  companion  of  the 
Indian,  as  a  hunter  was  emblematical  of  their  fidelity. 
No  messenger  so  trusty  could  be  found,  to  bear  their 
petitions  to  the  Master  of  Life.  The  Iroquois  be- 
lieved that  the  Great  Spirit  made  a  covenant  with 
their  fathers,  to  the  effect  that,  when  they  should  send 
up  to  him  the  spirit  of  a  dog,  of  a  spotless  white,  he 
would  receive  it  as  a  pledge  of  their  adherence  to  his 
worship,  and  his  ears  would  thus  be  opened  in  a 
special  degree  to  their  petitions."  ("League  of  the 
Iroquois,"  p.  216.) — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  168,  line  3.) 

"About  one  hundred  years  ago,"  the  time  of  the 
origin  of  the  war  dance  mentioned  in  the  text  of  the 
first  edition  published  in  1824,  refers,  of  course,  to  the 
early  part  of  the  eighteenth  century. — Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  170,  line  15.) 

The  government  of  the  Six  Nations,  when  they 
were  in  the  zenith  of  their  prosperity  and  power,  was 
an  oligarchy,  composed  of  a  mixture  of  elective  and 
hereditary  power;  and  to  the  skeleton  of  such  a 
government  the  remnant  of  the  race  still  adhere. 
Their  government  was  administered  by  chiefs — each 
tribe  having  two;  one  of  whom  was  hereditary,  and 
the  other  elective;  the  term  of  whose  office  was  during 
good  behavior,  and  might  be  removed  for  any  real  or 
supposed  sufficient  cause,  which,  however,  was  seldom 
put  in  execution.  The  elective  sachem  was  the 
military  chieftain,  whose  duty  it  was  to  attend  to  all 
the  military  concerns  of  the  tribe,  and  command  the 
warriors  in  battle.  They  were  both  members  of  the 

4i2  LIFE  OF 

general  council  of  the  confederacy,  as  well  as  of  the 
national  council,  which  met  as  often  as  necessity 
required,  and  settled  all  questions,  involving  matters 
in  which  their  own  nation  only  had  an  interest;  but 
the  general  council  of  the  confederacy  met  but  once  a 
year,  except  in  cases  of  emergency.  It  then  met  at 
Onondaga,  being  the  headquarters  of  the  most  central 
nation,  where  all  great  questions  of  general  interest, 
such  as  peace  and  war — the  concerns  of  tributary 
nations,  and  all  negotiations  with  the  French  and 
English  were  debated,  deliberated  upon,  and  decided. 
All  decisions  made  by  the  chiefs  of  a  tribe,  which  af- 
fected the  members  of  that  tribe  only — all  decisions  of 
the  national  council,  solely  relative  to  the  affairs  of 
that  nation,  (a  majority  of  chiefs  concurring,)  *  and 
all  decisions  of  the  general  council  of  the  confederacy, 
were  laws  and  decrees  from  which  there  was  no  appeal. 
There  is  also  a  class  of  counselors  in  the  several  tribes 
who  have  great  influence  over,  but  no  direct  voice  in 
the  decision  of  any  question. — Mix,  ed.  184.2. 

*  The  author  has  fallen  into  an  error  in  this  par- 
ticular. It  was  a  fundamental  law  of  the  confederacy, 
and  also  of  each  nation,  that  the  chiefs  "must  be  of 
one  mind;"  that  is,  unanimous. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

"At  the  institution  of  the  league  fifty  permanent 
sachemships  were  created,  with  appropriate  names; 
and  in  the  sachems  who  held  these  titles  were  vested 
the  supreme  power  of  the  confederacy.  To  secure  or- 
der in  the  succession,  and  to  determine  the  individuals 
entitled,  the  sachemships  were  made  hereditary,  under 
limited  and  peculiar  laws  of  descent.  The  sachems 
themselves  were  equal  in  rank  and  authority,  and 
instead  of  holding  separate  territorial  jurisdictions, 
their  powers  were  joint  and  co-extensive  with  the 
league.  As  a  safeguard  against  contention  and 


fraud,  such  sachem  was  'raised  up/  and  invested  with 
his  title,  by  a  council  of  all  the  sachems,  with  suitable 
forms  and  ceremonies.  Until  this  ceremony  of  con- 
firmation or  investiture,  no  one  could  become  a  ruler. 
He  received,  when  raised  up,  the  name  of  the  sachem- 
ship  itself,  as  in  the  case  of  the  titles  of  nobility,  and 
so  also  did  his  successors,  from  generation  to  genera- 
tion. The  sachemships  were  distributed  unequally 
between  the  five  nations.  Nine  of  them  were  as- 
signed to  the  Mohawk  nation,  nine  to  the  Oneida, 
fourteen  to  the  Onondaga,  ten  to  the  Cayuga,  and 
eight  to  the  Seneca.  The  sachems,  united,  formed 
the  council  of  the  League — the  ruling  body  in  whom 
resided  the  executive,  legislative,  and  judicial  au- 

"It  thus  appears  that  the  government  of  the 
Iroquois  was  an  oligarchy,  taking  the  term,  at  least, 
in  the  literal  sense,  'the  rule  of  the  few;'  and  while 
more  system  is  observable  in  this,  than  in  the  oli- 
garchies of  antiquity,  it  seems,  also,  better  calculated 
in  its  framework  to  resist  political  changes.  .  .  . 
Next  to  the  sachems,  in  position,  stood  the  chiefs — an 
inferior  class  of  rulers,  the  very  existence  of  whose 
office  was  an  anomaly  in  the  oligarchy  of  the  Iroquois. 
The  office  of  chief  was  made  elective,  and  the  reward 
of  merit;  but  without  any  power  of  descent,  the  title 
terminating  with  the  individual.  .  .  .  After  their 
election  they  were  raised  up  by  a  council  of  the 
nation;  but  a  ratification  by  the  general  council  of 
the  sachems  was  necessary  to  complete  the  investi- 
ture. The  powers  and  duties  of  the  sachems  and 
chiefs  were  entirely  of  a  civil  character,  and  confirmed 
by  their  organic  laws  to  the  affairs  of  peace." 
("League  of  the  Iroquois,"  pp.  62-71.) — Morgan, 
ed.  1856. 


(Page  170,  last  line.) 

The  Iroquois  have  fluctuated  greatly  in  numbers 
since  the  first  white  settlement  in  this  country;    and 

414  LIFE  OF 

their  numbers  have  quite  generally  been  exaggerated. 
At  least  this  is  the  impression  conveyed  by  the  con- 
flicting statements  and  estimates  given  in  Morgan's 
great  work,  "The  League  of  the  Iroquois."  Dr. 
Seaver's  estimate  being  based  on  Government  statis- 
tics undoubtedly  represents  at  least  approximately 
the  numbers  of  the  Iroquois  in  Mary  Jemison's  day, 
and  for  the  purposes  of  this  biography  that  is  the 
important  point. 

In  this  connection  may  be  cited  the  following  quota- 
tion from  Appendix  B  (page  226)  of  "The  League  of 
the  Iroquois:" 

"It  is  improbablethat  at  anytime  from  the  establish- 
ment of  the  League  to  its  disruption  by  the  Revolu- 
tionary War  the  Iroquois  numbered  more  than  15,000 
or  16,000  souls.  This  was  apparently  the  total  when 
they  first  march  into  history  (in  the  earlier  part  of  the 
seventeenth  century),  and  it  is  very  close  to  the  total 
today.  This  uniformity  in  numbers,  however,  is 
little  more  than  an  interesting  coincidence.  The 
original  Iroquois  blood  has  been  much  diluted  by 
admixture  of  other  Iroquoians,  of  Algonquins,  and  of 

Qn  page  229  it  is  further  said,  "The  Indians  are  now 
lowly  increasing,"  meaning  presumably  at  the  date  of 
edition,  1904. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  171,  line  10.) 

"Marriage  was  not  founded  upon  the  affections, 
which  constitute  the  only  legitimate  basis  of  this 
relation  in  civilized  society,  but  was  regulated  ex- 
clusively as  a  matter  of  physical  necessity.  It  was 
not  even  a  contract  between  the  parties  to  be  mar- 


ried;  but  substantially  between  their  mothers,  acting 
oftentimes  under  the  suggestions  of  the  matrons  and 
wise  men  of  the  tribes  to  which  the  parties  respectively 
belonged.  .  .  . 

"When  the  mother  considered  her  son  of  a  suitable 
age  for  marriage,  she  looked  about  her  for  a  maiden, 
whom,  from  report  or  acquaintance,  she  judged  would 
accord  with  him  in  disposition  and  temperament. 
A  negotiation  between  the  mothers  ensued,  and  a  con- 
clusion was  speedily  reached.  Sometimes  the  near 
relatives,  and  the  elderly  persons  of  the  tribes  to 
which  each  belonged,  were  consulted;  but  their 
opinions  were  of  no  avail,  independently  of  the  wishes 
of  the  mothers  themselves.  Not  the  least  singular 
feature  of  the  transaction  was  the  entire  ignorance 
in  which  the  parties  remained  of  the  pending  negotia- 
tion; the  first  information  they  received  being  the 
announcement  of  their  marriage,  without,  perhaps, 
ever  having  known  or  seen  each  other.  Remonstrance 
or  objection  on  their  part  was  never  attempted;  they 
received  each  other  as  the  gift  of  their  parents.  As 
obedience  to  them  in  all  their  requirements  was  in- 
culcated as  a  paramount  duty,  and  disobedience  was 
followed  by  disownment,  the  operative  force  of  cus- 
tom, in  addition  to  these  motives,  was  sufficient  to 
secure  acquiescence.  The  Indian  father  never  troub- 
led himself  concerning  the  marriage  of  his  children. 
To  interfere  would  have  been  an  invasion  of  female 
immunities;  and  these,  whatever  they  were,  were 
as  sacredly  regarded  by  him,  as  he  was  inflexible  in 
enforcing  respect  for  his  own.  .  .  . 

"From  the  very  nature  of  the  marriage  institution 
among  the  Iroquois,  it  follows  that  the  passion  of  love 
was  entirely  unknown  among  them.  Affection  after 
marriage  would  naturally  spring  up  between  the 
parties,  from  association,  from  habit,  and  from  mu- 
tual dependence;  but  of  that  marvellous  passion 
which  originates  in  a  higher  development  of  the 
powers  of  the  human  heart,  and  is  founded  upon  a 
cultivation  of  the  affections  between  the  sexes,  they 

416  LIFE  OF 

were  entirely  ignorant.     In  their  temperaments  they 
were  below  this  passion  in  the  simplest  forms. 

"Attachments  between  individuals,  or  the  cultiva- 
tion of  each  other's  affections  before  marriage,  was 
entirely  unknown;  as  also  were  promises  of  marriage. 
The  fact  that  individuals  were  united  in  this  relation, 
without  their  knowledge  or  consent,  and  perhaps 
without  even  a  previous  acquaintance,  illustrates  and 
confirms  this  position.  This  invasion  of  the  ro- 
mances of  the  novelist,  and  of  the  conceits  of  the 
poet,  upon  the  attachments  which  sprang  up  in  the 
bosom  of  Indian  society  may,  perhaps,  divest  the 
mind  of  some  pleasing  impressions,  but  these  are 
entirely  inconsistent  with  the  marriage  institution, 
as  it  existed  among  them,  and  with  the  facts  of  their 
social  history."  ("League  of  the  Iroquois,"  pp.  320- 

)  ed.  2856. 


(Page  171,  line  n.) 

Although  polygamy  has  prevailed  to  a  limited  ex- 
tent among  the  Senecas  in  later  times,  it  was  pro- 
hibited in  earlier  days,  and  considered  disgraceful. — 
Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

Major  Marston,  commanding  officer  at  the  U.  S. 
Fort  Armstrong,  in  the  North-western  Territory,  in 
1820,  in  an  official  report  to  our  government,  relative 
to  the  conditions,  customs,  religion,  etc.,  of  the 
various  tribes  of  the  North-western  Indians,  states, 
that  "many  of  these  Indians  have  two  or  three  wives; 
the  greatest  number  that  I  have  known  any  man 
to  have  at  one  time,  was  five.  When  an  Indian  wants 
more  than  one  wife,  he  generally  prefers  that  they  be 
sisters,  as  they  are  more  likely  to  agree,  and  live 
together  in  harmony.  A  man  of  fifty  or  sixty  years 

o  . 


old,  who  has  two  or  three  wives,  will  frequently 
marry  a  girl  of  sixteen." — Interpolation  by  Mix,  ed. 


(Page  171,  line  19.) 

From  all  history  and  tradition,  it  would  appear 
that  neither  seduction,  prostitution,  nor  rape,  was 
known  in  the  calendar  of  crimes  of  this  rude  savage 
race,  until  the  females  were  contaminated  by  the 
embrace  of  civilized  men.  And  it  is  a  remarkable 
fact,  that,  among  the  great  number  of  women  and 
girls  who  have  been  taken  prisoners  by  the  Indians 
during  the  last  two  centuries,  although  they  have 
often  been  tomahawked  and  scalped,  their  bodies 
ripped  open  while  alive,  and  otherwise  barbarously 
tortured,  not  a  single  instance  is  on  record,  or  has 
ever  found  currency  in  the  great  stock  of  gossip  and 
story  which  civilized  society  is  so  prone  to  circulate, 
that  a  female  prisoner  has  ever  been  ill-treated, 
abused,  or  her  modesty  insulted,  by  an  Indian,  with 
reference  to  her  sex.  This  universal  trait  in  the 
Indian  character  can  not  be  wholly,  if  in  the  least, 
attributed  to  the  cold  temperament  of  their  constitu- 
tions— the  paucity  of  their  animal  functions,  or  want 
of  natural  propensities — for  polygamy  is  not  only 
tolerated  but  extensively  indulged  in,  among  nearly 
all  the  North  American  tribes.  Of  this  we  have  the 
most  abundant  proof,  not  relying  solely  on  the  tes- 
timony of  Mrs.  Jemison,  who  states  that  it  was 
tolerated  and  practiced  in  the  Seneca  nation,  but  on 
the  statements  of  all  writers  on  that  subject  and  of 
all  travelers  and  sojourners  in  the  Indian  country. 
.  .  .  On  the  other  hand,  this  abstemiousness  can  not 

4i8  LIFE  OF 

be  attributed  to  the  dictates  of  moral  virtue,  as  that 
would  be  in  direct  opposition  to  all  their  other  traits 
of  character.  And,  again,  no  society  or  race  of  men 
exists,  so  purely  moral,  but  that,  if  there  was  any 
crime  within  their  power  to  perpetrate,  to  which  they 
were  prompted  by  their  passions,  some  one  or  more 
would  be  guilty  of  committing  it,  if  restrained  by 
moral  virtue  only. 

Therefore  we  are  driven  to  the  conclusion,  that  the 
young  warrior  has  been  taught  and  trained  up  from 
his  infancy,  to  subdue  this  passion;  and  to  effect 
that  object,  he  has  been  operated  upon  by  some  dire- 
ful, superstitious  awe,  and  appalling  fear  of  the  con- 
sequence of  the  violation  of  female  chastity;  and, 
with  the  same  anathema  held  to  his  view,  taught  to 
avoid  temptation,  by  demeaning  himself  perfectly 
uninquisitive  and  modest,  in  the  presence  of  females, 
and  especially  female  prisoners.  It  is  not  supposed 
however,  that  great  exertions  are  made  at  the  present 
day,  to  instill  those  prejudices,  if  I  may  be  allowed 
so  to  apply  the  word,  into  the  Indian  youth,  for 
those  dicta  have  been  so  long  promulgated,  and 
obedience  thereto  so  rigidly  enforced,  through  so 
many  generations  that  they  have  become  an  inborn 
characteristic  of  the  race. 

We  can  easily  perceive  the  policy  of  the  ancient 
founders  of  this  precautionary  branch  of  savage  edu- 
cation, and  it  is  worthy  of  the  paternity  of  a  Solon. 
By  this  precaution,  jealousy,  feuds,  strife,  and  blood- 
shed, are  avoided  among  the  warriors,  while  they  are  out 
on  their  predatory  excursions,  stealthily  seizing  prison- 
ers, scalps,  or  plunder  by  night,  or  warily  and  noise- 
lessly winding  their  course  through  the  forest  by  day. 
— Interpolations  by  Mix,  ed.  1842. 



(Page  171,  line  19.) 

The  following  is  an  interesting  account  given  to 
Christopher  Gist  by  Colonel  Mercer,  agent  of  the 
Ohio  Company,  afterwards  Lieutenant-Governor  of 
North  Carolina,  of  a  Shawnee  festival  in  Ohio  in 
which  Indian  marriages  were  dissolved  and  husbands 
were  chosen  by  the  Indian  women: 

"In  the  evening  a  proper  officer  made  a  public 
proclamation,  that  all  the  Indian  marriages  were  dis- 
solved, and  a  public  feast  was  to  be  held  for  the  three 
succeeding  days  after,  in  which  the  women  (as  their 
custom  was)  were  again  to  choose  their  husbands. 

"The  next  morning  early  the  Indians  breakfasted, 
and  after  spent  the  day  in  dancing,  till  the  evening 
when  a  plentiful  feast  was  prepared;  after  feasting, 
they  spent  the  night  in  dancing. 

"The  same  way  they  passed  the  two  next  days  till 
the  evening,  the  men  dancing  by  themselves,  and 
then  the  women  in  turns  round  fires,  and  dancing 
in  their  manner  the  form  of  the  figure  8,  about  60 
or  70  of  them  at  a  time.  The  women,  the  whole 
time  they  danced,  sung  a  song  in  their  language,  the 
chorus  of  which  was, 

I  am  not  afraid  of  my  husband; 
I  will  choose  what  man  I  please. 

Singing  those  lines  alternately. 

"The  third  day,  in  the  evening,  the  men,  being 
about  100  in  number,  danced  in  a  long  string,  follow- 
ing one  another,  sometimes  at  length,  at  other  times 
in  a  figure  of  8  quite  around  the  fort,  and  in  and  out 
of  the  longhouse,  where  they  held  their  councils,  the 
women  standing  together  as  the  men  danced  by  them; 
and  as  any  of  the  women  liked  a  man  passing  by,  she 
stepped  in,  and  joined  in  the  dance,  taking  hold  of 
the  man's  stroud,  whom  she  chose,  and  then  con- 

420  LIFE  OF 

tinued  in  the  dance  till  the  rest  of  the  women  stepped 
in  and  made  their  choice  in  the  same  manner;  after 
which  the  dance  ended,  and  they  all  retired  to  con- 
summate." See  PownalPs  "Topographical  Descrip- 
tion, London,"  1776,  last  paragraph  of  the  work. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  173,  line  17.) 

"The  religious  system  of  the  Iroquois  taught  that 
it  was  a  journey  from  earth  to  heaven,  of  many  days' 
duration.  Originally  it  was  supposed  to  be  a  year, 
and  the  period  of  mourning  for  the  departed  was 
fixed  at  that  term.  At  its  expiration  it  was  cus- 
tomary for  the  relatives  of  the  deceased  to  hold  a 
feast — the  soul  of  the  departed  having  reached 
heaven,  and  a  state  of  felicity,  there  was  no  longer 
any  cause  for  mourning.  In  modern  times  the 
mourning  period  has  been  reduced  to  ten  days,  and 
the  journey  of  the  spirit  is  now  believed  to  be  per- 
formed in  three.  The  spirit  of  the  deceased  was  sup- 
posed to  hover  around  the  body  for  a  season  before 
it  took  its  final  departure;  and  not  until  after  the 
expiration  of  a  year,  according  to  the  ancient  belief 
and  ten  days  according  to  the  present,  did  it  become 
permanently  at  rest  in  heaven.  A  beautiful  custom 
prevailed,  in  ancient  times,  of  capturing  a  bird,  and 
freeing  it  over  the  grave  on  the  evening  of  the  burial, 
to  bear  away  the  spirit  to  its  heavenly  rest.  Their 
notions  of  the  state  of  the  soul  when  disembodied 
are  vague  and  diversified;  but  they  all  agree  that,  dur- 
ing the  journey,  it  required  the  same  nourishment  as 
while  it  dwelt  in  the  body.  They,  therefore,  de- 
posited beside  the  deceased  his  bow  and  arrows,  to- 
bacco and  pipe,  and  necessary  food  for  the  journey. 
They  also  painted  the  face,  and  dressed  the  body  in 
its  best  apparel.  A  fire  was  built  upon  the  grave  at 
night,  to  enable  the  spirit  to  prepare  its  food.  With 
these  tokens  of  affection,  and  these  superstitious  con- 


cernments  for  the  welfare  of  the  deceased,  the  chil- 
dren of  the  forest  performed  the  burial  rites  of  their 
departed  kindred." — ("League  of  the  Iroquois,"  p. 

174.) — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  181,  line  7.) 

It  appears  from  "The  Life  of  William  Pryor  Letch- 
worth"  (page  43)  that  the  original  sawmill  erected  by 
Hurd  and  Palmer  near  the  Middle  Fall  of  the  three 
Portage  Falls  in  what  is  now  Letchworth  Park  was 
carried  away  by  a  flood  and  was  succeeded  by  a  more 
ambitious  lumbering  plant  which  was  burned  on 
January  23,  1858.  In  February  of  the  following  year, 
1859,  Mr.  Letchworth  acquired  the  mill-site  and  all 
the  buildings  connected  with  it.  Eight  or  nine  years 
later,  according  to  information  given  by  Mr.  Pond 
of  Genesee  Falls,  the  portions  of  the  lumbering  plant 
not  destroyed  by  the  fire  in  1858  were  removed  by  the 
orders  of  Mr.  Letchworth. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

149.  CHAPTER  I,  PART  II. 

(Pages  193-198.) 

This  chapter  by  Ebenezer  Mix  first  appeared 
in  the  edition  edited  by  him  and  printed  at  Batavia 
in  1842.  It  formed  Chapter  XVIII  of  recent  editions. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  194,  line  26.) 

The  Hon.  Truman  L.  Stone,  of  Sonyea,  N.  Y.,  com- 
municates the  following  incident  illustrating  the  gen- 
erosity of  Mary  Jemison  and  her  never-failing  sym- 
pathy for  those  in  distress.  The  incident  is  retold  by 

422  LIFE  OF 

Mr.  Stone  as  nearly  as  possible  in  the  words  of  his 
grandfather,  Truman  Stone,  who  was  accustomed  to 
tell  it  to  his  children  and  grandchildren  nearly  every 
Thanksgiving  Day  after  the  Thanksgiving  dinner. 

"The  best  meal  of  victuals  I  ever  ate  was  cooked 
by  Mary  Jemison,  the  White  Woman  of  the  Genesee. 
A  short  time  after  I  settled  in  Orangeville,  which  in 
1807  was  in  Genesee  county  (now  Wyoming  county), 
all  of  the  grain  crop  of  the  settlers  was  a  failure,  con- 
sequently, it  was  a  year  of  great  dearth.  There  was 
no  grain  to  be  had;  and  although  we  had  meat  and 
milk  and  some  vegetables,  we  felt  the  necessity  of 
having  bread. 

"I  heard  that  there  was  some  corn  on  the  Genesee 
flats,  twenty-five  miles  away,  and  started  out  on  foot 
with  a  pillow-case  for  a  sack,  to  buy  and  bring  home 
some  corn  or  wheat.  I  continued  my  journey,  mak- 
ing inquiries  of  the  settlers  along  the  road  for  corn 
or  wheat.  Some  had  a  little  corn  and  some  had  a 
little  wheat  but  none  to  sell  and  not  enough  for  their 
own  use.  On  the  second  day  away  from  home,  I  was 
traveling  up  the  Genesee  river  on  the  Gardeau  reser- 
vation. Just  at  night,  I  came  up  to  the  White 
Woman's  cabin  and  asked  her  if  she  had  any  corn. 
She  replied  that  she  had  corn  but  none  to  sell.  I 
told  her  that  I  would  give  her  five  dollars  for  a  bushel 
of  corn.  Her  reply  was  that  she  would  not  sell  me  a 
bushel  of  corn  for  a  bushel  of  dollars.  At  the  same 
time,  she  asked  me  if  I  was  hungry.  I  told  her  that 
I  had  not  had  anything  to  eat  since  breakfast  the  day 
before.  She  invited  me  into  the  cabin,  swung  a 
kettle  over  the  fire  and  made  a  cake  (an  Indian  cake 
was  some  cracked  corn  wet  up,  a  little  salt  added 
and  baked  in  a  kettle).  After  the  cake  was  done, 
she  broke  a  goose  egg  into  the  kettle  and  fried  it,  all 
of  which  was  served  on  a  wooden  platter  or  plate. 
Then  she  invited  me  to  eat,  which  I  did,  and  it  was 
the  best  dinner  I  ever  ate. 

"While  I  was  eating,  the  White  Woman  went  up 


the  log  stairs  to  the  attic  and  brought  down  the 
pillow-case  full  of  shelled  corn.  I  offered  to  pay  her 
for  it  but  she  said,  'No,  I  will  take  no  pay.  Take 
this  to  your  starving  family.'  When  I  started  for 
home,  it  was  dark,  I  took  the  corn  and  carried  it 
home,  twenty-five  miles  away,  that  night,  and  we 
had  corn  bread  for  a  few  days.  Then  our  wheat 
ripened  and  we  had  plenty  ever  after." 

The  story  just  recited,  so  interesting  and  so  spiritu- 
ally exalting,  was  communicated  to  Mr.  Letchworth 
and  in  his  acknowledgment,  dated  Glen  Iris,  January 
29,  1900,  Mr.  Letchworth  promised  to  use  it  when  a 
fitting  occasion  occurred.  To  redeem  this  promise  by 
Mr.  Letchworth  is  now  the  object  of  the  Reviser. 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  195,  line  27.) 

To  make  the  inscription  correspond  with  facts  as- 
certained since  the  inscription  was  chiseled,  read: 
"Born,  1743;  abducted,  1758;  removed  to  Genesee 
River,  1762;  aged,  ninety  years." — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  197,  line  24.) 

"The  author,  in  his  boyhood,  has  often  seen  the 
'White  Woman/  as  she  was  uniformly  called  by  the 
early  settlers;  and  remembers  well  the  general  esteem 
in  which  she  was  held.  Notwithstanding  she  had  one 
son  who  was  a  terror  to  Indians  as  well  as  to  the 
early  white  settlers,  she  has  left  many  descendants 
who  are  not  unworthy  of  her  good  name.  Jacob 
Jemison,  a  grandson  of  hers,  received  a  liberal  educa- 
tion, passed  through  a  course  of  medical  studies,  and 
was  appointed  assistant  surgeon  in  the  United  States 

424  LIFE  OF 

Navy.  He  died  on  board  of  his  ship  in  the  Mediter- 
ranean." ("Turner's  Hist,  of  the  Holland  Pur- 
chase," p.  295.) — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

153.  CHAPTER  II,  PART  II. 

(Pages  198-207.) 

This  chapter,  by  Hon.  William  Clement  Bryant  of 
Buffalo,  first  appeared  in  the  edition  printed  at 
Buffalo  in  1877.  It  formed  Chapter  XIX  of  recent 
editions. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  198,  line  2.) 

William  Clement  Bryant  was  born  in  Holley, 
Orleans  County,  N.  Y.,  December  21,  1830,  and  died 
in  Buffalo,  September  2,  1898.  He  had  a  fine  per- 
sonal character,  and  a  genial,  kindly  disposition,  and 
in  his  profession  as  a  lawyer  he  had  the  reputation 
for  learning.  For  many  years  he  was  counsel  for  the 
Western  Savings  Bank  of  Buffalo,  and  had  among  his 
clients  many  prominent  citizens  whom  he  advised 
as  to  their  wills  and  estates.  With  a  comfortable 
competency,  he  had  much  leisure  to  read  and  study 
and  take  interest  in  matters  outside  his  profession. 
He  had  a  special  penchant  for  local  history  and  Indian 
affairs,  and  on  account  of  the  latter  was  esteemed  by 
the  Indians  of  the  Alleghany,  Cattaraugus,  and  Tus- 
carora  reservations  as  a  particular  friend.  He  was 
adopted  by  the  Senecas  and  given  the  name  of  Da- 
gis-ta-ga-na,  the  burning  fire,  and  by  the  Mohawks 
who  called  him  Ky-o-wil-la  (meaning  lost).  He  was 
president  of  the  Buffalo  Historical  Society  from 
January,  1876,  to  January,  1877.  He  was  a  great 
lover  of  nature  and  of  scenery  like  that  of  Niagara 


Falls  and  Letchworth  Park,  and  shared  Dr.  Letch- 
worth's  views  as  to  the  use  to  which  such  scenery 
should  be  put  for  the  benefit  of  the  people. — Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 


(Page  201,  line  17.) 

On  November  12,  1913,  Mr.  Frank  H.  Severance, 
librarian  of  the  Buffalo  Historical  Society  Library, 
wrote  to  the  Reviser:  "Ulysses  J.  Kennedy  of  Irving, 
N.  Y.,  'Buffalo  Tom's*  grandson,  informs  me  that  his 
grandfather,  Thomas  Jemison,  died  September  3, 
1878."— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  202,  last  line.) 

Mr.  Jemison's  dwelling-house  is  still  standing  in  a 
good  state  of  preservation  near  Mt.  Morris,  and  is 
cherished  as  an  honored  landmark. — Letchworth,  ed. 

The  same  may  be  said  at  the  present  time. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  205,  line  13.) 

Besides  other  varieties  of  choice  fruit,  Mr.  Jemison's 
orchard  embraces  more  than  three  hundred  bearing 
apple  trees. — Letchworth,  ed.  1877. 


(Pages  208-212.) 

This  chapter  by  Mrs.  Asher  Wright  first  appeared 
in  the  edition  published  at  Buffalo  in  1877.  In  an 

instructive  and  entertaining  book  entitled  "Our  Life 


426  LIFE  OF 

Among  the  Iroquois  Indians,"  by  Harriet  S.  Caswell, 
may  be  found  an  account  of  the  efforts  and  sacrifices 
made  by  this  noble  woman  and  her  devoted  husband 
for  the  elevation  of  the  Indians  on  the  Buffalo  and 
Cattaraugus  reservation. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  212,  line  25.) 

Mary  Jemison  removed  from  Gardeau  to  the  Buf- 
falo Creek  Reservation,  according  to  the  best  of  my 
recollection,  in  the  summer  of  1831.  My  first  ac- 
quaintance with  her  was  in  the  following  summer. 
She  v/as  then  quite  decrepit  and  feeble,  but  quite 
talkative  and  generally,  when  I  saw  her,  appeared 
cheerful.  My  conversation  was  generally  upon  the 
subject  of  religion,  of  which  she  seemed  to  have  very 
confused  and  indistinct  ideas.  At  first  she  seemed 
indignant  *  that  I  should  speak  of  her  as  a  sinner 
who  stood  in  need  of  Divine  mercy.  She  seemed  to 
suppose  she  had  never  been  guilty  of  a  single  sin.  In 
a  few  months,  however,  it  was  very  apparent  that 
with  increasing  light  upon  the  nature  of  Christianity, 
her  views  of  herself  were  radically  changed.  She  saw 
she  needed  help  from  God,  and  appeared  to  seek  it  in 
humble,  earnest  prayer;  and  in  the  summer  of  1833 
she  gave  as  satisfactory  evidence  of  conversion  as 
could  reasonably  be  expected  from  a  person  in  her 
circumstances. — Rev.  Asher  Wright,  in  ed.  1840. 

*  Mens  sibi  conscia  recti. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

160.  CHAPTER  IV,  PART  II. 

(Pages  213-227.) 

The  first  part  of  this  chapter,  by  William  Pryor 
Letchworth,  LL.D.,  first  appeared  in  the  edition 


printed  at  New  York  in  1898.  A  few  lines  have  been 
inserted  by  the  Reviser  of  the  1918  edition  to  make 
a  little  clearer  the  quotations  from  the  Gettysburg 
Compiler.  The  latter  part  of  the  chapter,  by  Edward 
Hagaman  Hall,  L.H.D.,  referring  to  the  place  of 
Mary  Jemison's  capture,  first  appears  in  the  1918 
edition. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

161.  CHAPTER  V,  PART  II. 

(Pages  228-242.) 

The  portion  of  this  chapter  by  William  Pryor  Letch- 
worth  on  pages  228-234  concerning  the  interment  of 
Mary  Jemison  and  the  removal  of  her  remains  to 
Letchworth  Park  first  appeared  in  the  edition  printed 
at  Buffalo  in  1877.  In  that  and  subsequent  editions 
it  comprised  Appendices  I,  II,  and  III.  The  portion 
of  this  chapter  by  Mr.  Letchworth  on  pages  235-236 
concerning  the  erection  of  the  marble  monument  first 
appeared  in  the  edition  printed  at  New  York  in  1898. 
In  that,  and  subsequent  editions,  it  was  Appendix  IV. 
It  superseded  another  Appendix  IV  by  Ebenezer  Mix 
which  appeared  in  the  1877  edition.  The  portion  of 
this  chapter  on  pages  236-242  concerning  the  Council 
House  Grounds  and  the  bronze  statue,  by  Charles 
Delamater  Vail,  first  appears  in  this  edition  of  1918. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

l62.    MlLLARD    FlLLMORE. 
(Page  234.  line  37-) 

Honorable  Millard  Fillmore. — Letchworth,  ed.  1877. 

Millard  Fillmore  was  the  thirteenth  President  of 
the  United  States.  He  was  born  in  Summer  Hill, 
N.  Y.,  February  7,  1800,  and  died  in  Buffalo,  N.  Y., 

428  LIFE  OF 

March  7,  1874.  See  Chamberlain's  "Biography  of 
Fillmore"  (1856)  and  the  article  by  Gen.  James  Grant 
Wilson  in  "Appleton's  Cyclopedia  of  American 
Biography"  (1887).—  Reviser,  ed.  1918. 

163.  CHAPTER  VI,  PART  II. 

(Pages  243-250.) 

This  chapter  appears  for  the  first  time  in  the  edition 
of  1918. — Reviser  y  ed.  1918. 


(Page  243,  line  2.) 

Dr.  Edward  Hagaman  Hall  furnishes  the  following 
biographical  note: 

"William  Holland  Samson  was  an  editorial  writer 
on  'The  Rochester,  N.  Y.,  Post-Express*  from  1881 
to  1911,  during  the  last  five  years  of  that  period  being 
managing  editor.  In  October,  1911,  he  moved  to 
New  York  City  where  he  became  Vice  President  of 
the  Anderson  Galleries.  He  died  June  24,  1917,  aged 
57  years,  and  was  buried  in  his  native  town  of  Le  Roy, 
N.  Y.  His  most  notable  editorial  works  outside  of 
the  columns  of  'The  Post-Express'  were  'The  Private 
Journal  of  Aaron  Burr/  'Letters  from  George  Wash- 
ington to  Tobias  Lear/  and  'Letters  from  Zachary 
Taylor  from  the  Battlefields  of  the  Mexican  War/ 
During  his  residence  in  Rochester  he  devoted  a  large 
amount  of  time  to  the  study  of  local  history  and  the 
accumulation  of  a  library.  His  collection  of  prints, 
engravings,  autographs,  maps,  pamphlets  and  books 
concerning  the  Indians  of  Western  New  York  and  the 
settlement  and  development  of  the  region  by  the 
whites  was  the  largest  ever  formed  in  that  part  of 
the  United  States  by  a  single  individual.  A  bio- 
graphical notice  of  Mr.  Samson  was  printed  in  'The 
Rochester  Post-Express*  of  June  25,  1917." 

— Reviser •,  ed.  ipi8. 



(Pages  251-263.) 

This  chapter  was  added  by  Ebenezer  Mix,  Esq. — 
Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

This  chapter  by  Mr.  Mix  first  appeared  in  the  edi- 
tion printed  at  Batavia  in  1842,  and  since  then  has 
been  printed  as  Chapter  V.  In  the  present  edition 
this  interpolation  has  been  taken  out  of  a  place  in 
which  it  did  not  belong  and  is  here  put  among  the 
additions  to  the  original  story. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  251,  line  8.) 

The  name  of  Little  Beard's  Town  was  De-o-nun'- 
da-ga-a,  signifying  Where  the  hill  is  near.  It  was  situ- 
ated upon  the  west  side  of  the  Genesee  Valley,  imme- 
diately in  front  of  Cuylerville. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  252,  last  line.) 

The  name  by  which  this  creek  and  the  village  of 
Dansville  is  now  known  to  the  Senecas  is,  Ga-nus-ga- 
go,  signifying  among  the  milkweed. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

The  name  of  the  creek  is  now  spelled  Canaseraga. — 
Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  253,  line  23.) 

Ga-nunf-da-gwa,  a  place  selected  for  a  settlement,  is 
the  present  spelling  and  pronunciation  of  this  name. — 

Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

430  LIFE  OF 

169.  SILVER  LAKE. 

(Page  258,  line  12.) 

Gd-na'-yat.  Its  signification  is  lost. — Morgan,  ed. 


(Page  258,  line  30.) 

The  name  of  Mount  Morris  in  the  Seneca  dialect 
was  So-no'-jo-wan-ga.  This  was  the  name  of  Big 
Kettle,  an  orator  not  less  distinguished  among  the 
Senecas  than  Red  Jacket  himself. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  259,  line  25.) 

The  word  Gd-un-do-wd-na,  which  was  the  name  of 
this  village,  signifies  a  big  tree. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 


(Page  259,  line  28.) 

The  Iroquois  still  retain  their  geographical  names 
with  great  fidelity.  As  their  proper  names  are  de- 
scriptive, they  still  form  a  part  of  their  language. 
Wherever  an  American  village  sprang  up  on  one  of 
their  known  localities  the  name  of  the  old  village  was 
immediately  transferred  to  the  new,  and  down  to  the 
present  time  the  Iroquois  still  call  them  by  their 
original  names.  Thus  Ga^no-wan-ges,  signifying 
Stinking  Water.  The  name  of  this  Indian  village  was 
transferred  to  Avon,  by  which  it  is  still  known  among 
them. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 



(Page  261,  line  24.) 

Da-yo'-it-ga-o,  the  name  of  this  village,  means 
Where  the  river  issues  from  the  hills.  It  describes  the 
place  where  the  Genesee  river  emerges  from  between 
two  narrow  walls  of  rock,  and  enters  the  broad  valley 
of  the  Genesee.  This  valley,  separating  itself  from 
the  river  at  this  point,  extends  up  to  Dansville,  and 
the  Caneseraga  creek  flows  through  it. — Morgan,  ed. 

Mr.  Arthur  C.  Parker,  in  a  recent  address  at 
Squawkie  Hill,  said:  "The  name  Squawkie  is  said  to 
be  derived  from  the  tribal  name,  Muskwaki,  meaning 
red  earth,  whom  we  recognize  as  the  Fox  Indians  be- 
fore their  affiliation  with  the  Sac  or  Sauk." — Reviser, 
ed.  1918. 


(Pages  264-273.) 

This  chapter  by  Lewis  H.  Morgan  first  appeared  in 
the  edition  of  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  printed 
at  Auburn  in  1856.  It  is  taken  from  Morgan's 
famous  work,  "The  League  of  the  Iroquois."  It 
formed  Appendix  VI  of  the  1913  edition. — Reviser,  ed. 


(Page  264,  table.) 

Gd-hun'-da  and  Te-car-ne-o-di'  are  common  nouns, 
signifying,  the  former,  a  river,  or  creek,  and  the  latter, 
a  lake.  They  are  always  affixed  by  the  Iroquois,  in 
speaking,  to  the  name  itself. — Morgan,  ed.  1856. 

432  LIFE  OF 

176.  CHAPTER  IX,  PART  II. 

(Pages  274-293.) 

This  chapter  on  the  bibliography  of  "The  Life  of 
Mary  Jemison"  appears  for  the  first  time  in  this 
edition  of  1918. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


(Page  289,  line  24.) 

The  expression  in  the  Bible  is,  "looking  to  Jesus, 
the  Author  and  Finisher  of  our  faith  " — that  is  to  say, 
the  beginning  and  the  end,  or  the  all-comprehending 
source  of  our  faith.  Mr.  Mix  evidently  missed  the 
significance  of  Dr.  Seaver's  allusion. — Reviser,  ed.  1918. 


In  a  final  review  of  the  life  of  Mary  Jemison  certain 
years  stand  out  as  epochal  in  her  career,  and  with  a 
recapitulation  of  them  this  work  may  fittingly  be 
brought  to  a  close: 

1743:  Mary  Jemison  s  Birth.  In  the  formative 
period,  1743-1758,  of  Mary  Jemison's  character  the 
dominant  factor  seems  to  have  been  not  so  much  the 
character  of  her  father  as  the  character  of  her  mother. 
In  the  indescribable  crisis  of  abduction  with  which 
this  formative  period  closes  Mary  Jemison's  story  of 
it  is  so  incisive  and  illuminative  that  the  repetition 
of  the  story  verbatim  is  called  for.  "Mother,"  so  run 
Mary's  words,  "from  the  time  we  were  taken  had 
manifested  a  great  degree  of  fortitude  and  encouraged 
us  to  support  our  troubles  without  complaining,  and 
by  her  conversation  seemed  to  make  the  distance  and 
time  shorter,  and  the  way  more  smooth.  But  father 
lost  all  his  ambition  in  the  beginning  of  our  trouble, 


and  continued  apparently  lost  to  every  care — ab- 
sorbed in  melancholy.  Here,  as  before,  she  insisted 
on  the  necessity  of  our  eating;  and  we  obeyed  her, 
but  it  was  done  with  heavy  hearts,"  etc.,  etc.  In 
other  words,  in  this  great  drama,  Mary  Jemison's 
mother,  in  her  every  act  and  utterance,  exemplified 
the  height  of  wisdom,  courage,  and  self-command  to 
which  an  inspired  sense  of  parental  duty  can  obtain. 

1758:  Mary  Jemison  s  Abduction.  Evokes  for 
Mary  Jemison  the  activities  of  her  life  as  a  woman: 
Marriage,  Motherhood,  Birth,  and  Death  of  Children — 
a  series  of  incredibly  extraordinary  experiences,  borne 
in  a  spirit  absolutely  unique.  However  heavy  the 
blow  to  the  feelings  (page  121)  a  masterful  recovery 
of  self-poise  soon  ensued.  But  in  a  way,  more  re- 
markable, as  a  result  of  her  abduction,  Mary  Jemison's 
adoption  into  an  Indian  family  brings  to  her  an 
Indian  mother,  sisters,  and  brothers  of  very  superior 
character.  The  Indian  adopted  mother  figures  in 
Mary  Jemison' s  life  as  a  fitting  representative  of  her 
own  mother. 

1763:  Peace  of  Paris,  February  10.  Ends  the 
French  and  Indian  War  and  makes  possible  the  re- 
covery of  personal  freedom  by  captives  held  by 
Indians.  But,  inexplicably  to  many,  Mary  Jemison 
does  not  become  an  applicant.  On  the  other  hand, 
after  the  Revolutionary  War  (1783)  she  elects  to  spend 
the  remainder  of  her  days  with  her  Indian  friends. 

1797:  Big  Tree  Treaty.  The  Treaty  of  Big  Tree 
(September  15)  made  Mary  Jemison  one  of  the  ex- 
tensive landowners  of  the  Genesee  Valley.  The  gift 
was  arranged  through  Mary  Jemison's  adopted  Indian 
brother,  Kaujisestaugeau  (page  93),  and  embraced 
17,927  acres  known  as  The  Gardeau  Reservation. 

434  LIFE  OF 

1817:  Naturalization.  On  the  9th  of  April,  1817, 
an  act  was  passed  by  the  Legislature  of  the  State  of 
New  York  for  the  naturalization  of  Mary  Jemison 
and  ratifying  and  confirming  the  title  of  her  land 
(page  136). 

1823:  Publication  of  "  The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison'9 
On  the  suggestion  of  the  citizens  of  the  Genesee 
Valley  "The  Life  of  Mary  Jemison"  was  prepared 
(1823)  and  published  (1824)  by  James  Everett 
Seaver,  M.D.,  from  dictation  by  Mary  Jemison,  to 
preserve  to  them  an  intimate  record  of  Mary  Jemison's 

1833:  Mary  Jemison's  Death,  September  19.  Re- 
ceived Christian  burial  in  graveyard  of  Seneca  Mis- 
sion Church,  Buffalo  Creek  Reservation,  though  al- 
most to  the  day  of  her  death  she  was  a  conscientious 
member  of  the  pagan  party  (page  159)  among  the 
Senecas.  A  marble  slab  was  placed  to  mark  the  spot. 

18^4:  Reinterment  of  Mary  Jemison's  Remains. 
Remains  exhumed  at  Buffalo  and  reinterred  March  7 
in  the  Indian  Council  House  grounds  at  Letchworth 
Park.  The  erection  of  a  marble  monument  marks 
recognition  by  the  great  philanthropist,  William 
Pryor  Letchworth,  of  the  value  to  the  public  of  the 
life  and  history  of  Mary  Jemison. 

igio:  Dedication  of  Bronze  Statue.  The  bronze 
statue  of  Mary  Jemison  erected  by  William  Pryor 
Letchworth  on  the  marble  monument  at  the  grave 
in  the  Council  House  Grounds  was  dedicated  Sep- 
tember 19.  To  give  to  the  world  a  permanent  and 
speaking  likeness  of  a  great  and  good  woman,  art 
has  achieved  in  this  work  one  of  its  signal  successes. 

1918:  Definitive  Edition  of  "The  Life  of  Mary 
Jemison'9  Wherein  is  sought  to  make  complete  and 


trustworthy  the  record  of  this  woman,  of  whom  Dr. 
Seaver  said  in  his  original  Introduction  (page  xiv): 
"Her  neighbors  speak  of  her  as  possessing  one  of 
the  happiest  tempers  and  dispositions,  and  give  her 
the  name  of  never  having  done  a  censurable  act  to 
their  knowledge." 

— Reviser,  ed.  1918. 



[In  the  following  index  Indian  customs,  councils,  treaties,  etc., 
are  indexed  directly  under  their  proper  titles  without  the  prefix 
"Indian."  An  asterisk  *  indicates  a  reference  to  the  origin  or 
meaning  of  a  personal  or  a  place  name.] 

Abeel,  Christopher  J.,  397. 
Abeel,  John,  397;  see  also  O'Bail. 
Adams,  Edward  D.,  b. 
Adler,  Elmer,  n,  275,  276,  293. 
Adoption    of   captives,    37,    38, 

331-339-    . 

Agnew,  Daniel,  324,  340. 
Akron,  265.* 
Alabama,  N.  Y.,  265.* 
Albany,  273.* 
Albion,  267.* 
Alexander,  N.  Y.,  265.* 
Allegany,  32,*  127. 
Allegany  County  Indian  names, 


Allegany  Reservation,  201. 
Allegany  River,  170,  264.* 
Allegany  village,  265.* 
Allen,  Ebenezer,  79  et  seq.y  129, 

282,  283,  284,  398,  399. 
Allen,  Indian,  201. 
Allen,  Lucy,  88,  89,  91. 
Allen,  Morilla,  89,  91,  399. 
Allen,  Orlando,  247,  248. 
Allen,  Sally,  88,  89,  90. 
Aliens  Creek,  87,  88,  265.* 
Allman,  T.  and  J.,  278. 
American   Museum   of  Natural 

History,  240,  327. 
American    Scenic    and    Historic 

Preservation  Society,  b,  c,  d,  n, 

236,  237,  241,  242,  290,  293, 

298,  302,  312,  328,  381. 
Amsterdam  Creek,  272.* 
Andre,  Major  John,  298. 
Andrews,  Mr.,  87. 

Angelica,  266.* 
Apulia,  269.* 
Arendtsville,  214,  224. 
Atlantic  Ocean,  273.* 
Attica,  265.* 
Auburn,  269,*  301. 
Aurora,  268.* 
Avery,  G.  A.,  287. 
Avon,  266,*  430.* 
Ayer,  Edward  E.,  collection,  275, 

Baby-board,  369;  illustration 
facing  232. 

Baby-carrying,  368,  369. 

Bad  Spirit,  409.* 

Bailey,  Liberty  H.,  b,  241. 

Baker,  William,  276,  277. 

Banister,  Daniel  W.,  ix. 

Barbarities  of  the  Indians,  at 
Shawnee  town,  35;  on  San- 
dusky  Creek,  49,  50;  at 
Genishau,  56;  to  Boyd,  76, 
I49>  392-395;  by  Hiokatoo, 
105  ft  seq.;  during  Sullivan's 
raid,  1^5;  in  Indian  wars,  330. 

Barbarities  of  the  Spaniards  and 
others,  393-395- 

Bard,  Richard,  321,  322. 

Barker,  Saxton  &  Co.,  286,  293. 

Bark  house,  illustration,  294. 

Batavia,  260,  265,*  299. 

Bath,  268.* 

Bay  Creek,  271.* 

Beard's  Creek,  156. 

Beard's    Town,     73,     78,     155, 



174;    see  also  Little  Beard's 

Beauchamp,  William  M.,  w,  319, 

320,  329,  334,  336,  343,  344, 

363,  376,  378.  379>  380,  39i, 

Beaver  River,  271.* 
Belt,  illustration,  250. 
Bemis,  James  EX,  ii,  276,  277, 

292;  biographical  note,  303. 
Bend  village,  265.* 
Benedict,  H.  H.,  b. 
Bennett,  Carlenia,  241, 242,  illust. 

opp.  416. 

Benton,  Nathaniel  S.,  389. 
Berry,  Jack,  78. 
Bibliography   of   "The   Life   of 

Mary  Jemison,"  274-293,  432; 

facsimiles  of  title-pages  facing 

J,  16,  32. 
Bjg  Kettle,  430.* 
Big  Salmon  Creek,  270.* 
Big   Tree    (place),   62,    90,    94, 

202,  259,  266,*  346,  388,  430.* 

Big  Tree  (Captain  Pollard),  245, 


Binghamton,  272.* 
Bishop,    Caroline,  «,  304,   311, 

illust.  opp.  416. 
Bishop,  D.  W.,  233,  234. 
Black  Chief,  130. 
Black  Creek,  265,*  266.* 
Black  Lake,  271.* 
Black  River,  271.* 
Black  Rock,  265.* 
Bleakney,  James,  216,  221. 
Bleakney,  Robert,  213. 
Bleakney,  Mrs.  Robert,  213,  214, 

216,  221. 

Blood-revenge,  331. 
Bloomfield,  134. 
Boardman,  Alice,  n. 
Bolton,  Reginald  P.,  b. 
Boon  (Boone),  Capt.,  107, 405. 
Bossart,  John  W.,  322. 
Bounty  for  recovery  of  captives, 

58,  384-387- 

Bouquet,  Col.,  316,  384,  385. 
Boyd,    Thomas    (erroneously 

called  William),  72,  73,   149, 

150,  152-156,  282,  392. 

Boyd,  William,  see  Thomas 

Brackenridge,  H.  H.,  406. 

Bradbury  &  Evans,  285. 

Bradctock's  defeat,  106,  311. 

Brady,  Samuel,  223,  405. 

Brandt,  Col.,  see  Brant. 

Brant,  Col.,  68,  154,  155. 

Bregner,  Peter,  222. 

Bridgman,  Herbert  L.,  b. 

Brockport,  267.* 

Brock's  monument,  273.* 

Brooks,  Micah,  134-137,  138, 
244,  245,  246. 

Brown,  Longman,  etc.,  278,  292. 

Brundridge,  Levi,  129. 

Bryant,  William  Clement,  bio- 
graphical note,  424*~425; 
mentioned,  c,  198,  243,  248, 
249,  287,  290,  328,  424. 

Bryant  &  Matthews  Bros.,  288, 


Buchanan,  James,  225. 
Buchanan  Valley,  213,  215,  216, 

220,   224. 

Buck,  Robert,  214,  216,  225,  310, 


Buck,  William  (Robert),  216. 
Buckinjehillish,  177. 
Buck  Tooth's  town,  262. 
Buffalo,  73,  93,   100,   102,   127, 

143,  199,  203,  228,  247,  265,* 

301,  302. 
Buffalo  Commercial  Advertiser, 

233,  287. 

Buffalo  Courier,  232. 
Buffalo  Creek  Reservation,  194, 

203,  208,  247,  248,  249,  260, 

265*,  279,  426,  434. 
Buffalo  Flats,  194. 
Buffalo  Historical  Society,  n,  275, 

278,  287,  293,  319,  338,  368, 

385,  424,  425. 

Buffalo  Morning  Express,  288.  > 
Buffalo  Tom,  see  Thomas  Jemi- 

Burlingham,  Benjamin,  233,  234. 
Burlington  Bay,  273.* 
Burr,  Aaron,  428 
Burton,  264.* 
Burton  Creek,  264.* 



Bush-Brown,  Henry  K.,  &,  238, 

239,  241,  327. 
Butler,  Col.  John,  67,  68,  78,  154, 

155;  see  also  Butler's  Rangers. 
Butler's  Rangers,  151,  154,  155; 

see  also  Col.  John  Butler. 
Butterfield  &  Miller,  279,  280, 


Caledonia,  266.* 
Camden,  272.* 
Camillus,  270.* 
Campbell,  George,  222. 
Campbell,  Mrs.  Jane,  391. 
Canaahtua,  44,  344-345,  360. 
Canadawa  Creek,  264.* 
Canajoharie,  272.* 
Canajoharie  Creek,  272.* 
Canandaigua  (Cahnandahgwah), 

67,  253,  268,*  303,  392,  429.* 
Canandaigua  Lake,  70,  152,  157, 

261,  268.* 

Canandaigua  Outlet,  268.* 
Canaseraga       Creek       (Cannis- 

krauga,  Canneskraugah,  Can- 

eseraga,  etc.),  252,*  253,*  261,* 

266,*  272,*  429,*  43 1. 
Candice  Lake,  261. 
Caneadea,  53,  100,  130,  232,  237, 

255,  256,  261,  266,*  302,  367,* 

Caneadea  Creek,  266.* 
Canestota,  272.* 
Canisteo,  130. 
Canisteo  River,  268.* 
Cannewagus,  259,  430.* 
Canoga,  268,*  269.* 
Canton,  Simon,  116. 
Captivities,  Indian,  335. 
Carlisle,    delivery   of  prisoners, 


Carrol,  Major,  138,  246. 
Carrying  Place  Village,  265.* 
Caryville,  265.* 
Cassadaga  Creek,  264.* 
Cassadaga  Lake,  264.* 
Caswell,  Harriet  S.,  426. 
Cat  Indians,  381. 
Catawba  Creek,  73,  395.* 
Catawba     (Cotawpe)     Indians, 

105,  106,  404. 

Cattaraugus,  67,  127,  134,  264.* 
Cattaraugus     County     Indian 

names,  264-265. 
Cattaraugus  Creek,  264.* 
Cattaraugus    Reservation,    194, 

198,  201,  203,  228,  233,  287, 


Cattaraugus  River,  170,  260. 
Cattaraugus  Village,  260,  265.* 
Cattle,  first  on  Genesee  flats,  56, 


Caughnawaga  Indians,  335. 
Caugwaga  Creek,  265.* 
Cautega,  67,  391.* 
Cayuga  Bridge,  268.* 
Cayuga  County  history,  370. 
Cayuga  Creek,  265.* 
Cayuga  Indians,  170,  263,  324; 

their  place-names,  268-269. 
Cayuga  Lake,  268*,  401. 
Cazenovia,  272.* 
Cazenovia  Creek,  265.* 
Cazenovia  Lake,  272.* 
Chamberlain,  biographer  of  Fill- 
more,  428. 

Chambersburg  Valley  Spirit,  314. 
Chandler,  Mrs.  Porter,  304. 
Chartier,  Peter,  339. 
Chautauqua     County     Indian 

names,  264. 

Chautauqua  Creek,  264.* 
Chautauqua  Lake,  264.* 
Chemung  County  Indian  names, 


Chemung  River,  268.* 
Chenango  County  Indian  names, 


Chenango  River,  272.* 
Chenashunggantan     (Teushun- 

ushungautau),  262;   see  Cheu- 

Cherokee  Indians,  53,  105,  106, 

H7>  3io»  372. 
Cherry  Valley,  67,  107,  352,  390, 


Cheuashunggautau,  53,  367. 
Child-birth  customs,  355. 
Chippeway,  273.* 
Chittenango,  272.* 
Chittenango  Creek,  272.* 
Chongo,  George,  see  Shongo. 



Christian  Hollow,  270.* 
Chronology  of  the  Indians,  176- 


Church,  Judge,  255. 
Churchill,  John  C,  390. 
Clarence  Hollow,  265.* 
Clarksville,  105,  404. 
Clinton,  271.* 
Clinton,  James,  150. 
Clute,  Jellis,  Esq.,  126,  129,  135, 

I36>  !37»  I38>  I94»  244,  246. 
Clute,  Thomas,  x,  135-138,  245, 


Clute,  William,  245. 
Clyde  River,  269.* 
Cobus  Hill,  273.* 
Cohoes  Falls,  273.* 
Colden,  Cadwalader,  376,  377. 
Cold  Spring  Creek,  262. 
Cole,  Francis,  214,  220,  223. 
Cole,  James,  C.,  224. 
Cole,  Timothy,  287. 
Conesus  (Connessius)  Lake,  70, 

73,  152,  261,  266.* 
Conesus  Outlet,  266.* 
Conewago  Creek,  221,  222,  224, 

225,226,308,321;  illustration 

facing  112. 

Conewango  River,  264.* 
Congressional  Library,  293. 
Conhocton,  86. 
Conhocton  River,  268.* 
Connessius    Lake,    see    Conesus 


Conococheague  Creek,  321. 
Conover,  George  S.  (Hywesaus), 

337,  338,*  392,  408. 
Conowongo     Creek,     52,     366, 

Converse,  Harriet  M.,  338,  339. 

Cooper,  John  M.,  314. 

Cooperstown,  273.* 

Corbett,  John,  397. 

Cornell  University,  241,  318. 

Corn  harvest  feast,  164,  409. 

Corn-husk  bottle,  illustration, 

Cornplanter  (young  John 
O'Bail),  great  Indian  chief,  77, 
78,  179,  247,  248,  262,  397, 
398;  portrait  facing  312. 

Cornplanter  (old  John  O'Bail), 
76,  77,  78. 

Cornplanter's  Village,  273.* 

Coronelli,  cartographer,  382. 

Cortland,  269.* 

Coshocton,  373. 

Cotawpe  Indians,  see  Catawba 

Council  House  from  Caneadea, 
illustration  facing  240. 

Councils,  at  Big  Tree,  62,  93,  94, 
202,  346;  at  German  Flats,  65, 
66,  389;  at  Oswego,  65,  66, 
390;  on  Thomas  Jemison's 
murder,  100;  at  Logstown, 
324;  at  Moscow,  138,  246;  at 
Pittsburgh,  341;  see  also 

Courtships  of  the  Senecas,  171, 
see  also  Marriage  customs. 

Cradle-board,  see  Baby-board. 

Craig  Colony,  n. 

Cramer,  Zadoc,  318,  320. 

Crawford,  William,  108-113,405. 

Credulity  of  the  Senecas,   173- 


Creek  Indians,  117. 
Croghan,  George,  339,  341. 
Crooked  Lake,  268.* 
Crooked  Lake  Outlet,  268.* 
Cross  Creek,  356,  357. 
Cross  Hills,  1 80. 
Cross  Lake,  270.* 
Cuming,  F.,  319,  327. 
Cunningham,  G.,  280,  292. 
Cusick,  Albert,  319,  380. 
Cuyler,  254. 
Cuylerville,  369,  429. 

Dances  of  the  Senecas,  167-169, 


Dansville,  261,  266.* 
Darien,  266.* 
Darien  Center,  298. 
Darling,   Susan   P.,  illust.  opp. 


Darling,  Thomas,  337. 
Dartmouth  College,  102. 
Daugherty  (Dougherty),  Capt., 

107,  405. 
Daugherty,  Samuel,  405. 



David,  Capt.,  an  Indian,  107. 
Davis,  Giles,  233,  234. 
Dayodehokto,  267.* 
Dearborn,  Henry  A.  S.,  368. 
Deep  Spring,  270.* 
Deer  Creek,  271.* 
Deganawideh,  317. 
Dehgewanus  (Dickewamis,  Deh- 

hewamis),      Mary     Jamison's 

Indian    name,    37,*    38,*    57, 

199,*  283,  328,*  329.* 
Dehhewamis    (Mary    Jemison), 

see  Dehgewanus. 
Delavan,  D.  Bryson,  b. 
Delaware  Indians,  43,  44,  52,  90, 

91,  324,  325,  334*  336,  342,  360. 
Delaware  River,  273. 
De  Nonville,  Marquis,  377,  379. 
De  Trench  River,  90,  91. 
De  Villiers,  Coulon,  309. 
Devil's  Hole,  55,  145-149,  260, 

282,  288,  383,  384,  408. 
Dewey,  D.  M.,  i,  286,  289,  292. 
Dickewamis,     Mary     Jemison's 

Indian  name,  see  Dehgewanus. 
Dillon,  John  F.,  223-226. 
Dillon,  Mrs.  John  F.,  224. 
Divorce  among  the  Indians,  419- 


Dix,  Gov.  John  A.,  301. 
Doctor,  an  Indian,  128  et  stq. 
Donaldson  &  Woodland,  280,  292. 
Donehogaweh,  see  Ely  S.  Parker. 
Donehoo,  George  P.,  n,  315,  321, 

323,  339»  345>  366,  404,  406. 
Dougherty  (Daugherty),  Capt., 

107,  405. 
Dow,  Charles   M.,  b,  239,  241, 

illust.  opp.  416. 
Dow,   Mrs.   Charles  M.,   illust. 

opp.  416. 

Dreams,  belief  in,  130,  173. 
Drunkenness,  48,  87,  98,  99,  102, 

128,  141,  142,  408. 
Dudley,  H.  A.,  241. 
Dunkirk,  264.* 

East  Canada  Creek,  272.* 
Eclipse  of  Sun,  superstition,  178. 
Edmund's  Swamp,  322-323. 
Eighteen  Mile  Creek,  265,*  267.* 

Elbridge,  270.* 

Ellicott  Creek,  265.* 

Ellicottville,  264.* 

Elmira,  268.* 

Emerick,  Frederick  A.,  b. 

Erie,  273.* 

Erie  County  Indian  names,  265. 

Erwin,   Jane,   mother  of  Mary 

Jemison,    18,    196,    215,    304; 

see  also  Mrs.  Thomas  Jemison. 
Evans  &  Bradbury,  285. 
Everett,  Andrew,  298. 
Everett,  Edward,  298. 
Everett,  I^inus  S.,  146,  147,  149. 
Everett,    Polly    (Mrs.    William 

Seaver),  298. 

Fall  Brook,  53,  58,  76,  96. 

Falls  Village,  265.* 

Family  Government  of  Senecas, 

Farly,  Mother,  90. 

Farmer's  Brother,  94,  104. 

Farming  by  the  Indians,  175, 

Fayetteville,  270.* 

Festivals  of  the  Indians,  163; 
thanksgiving,  163,  409;  plant- 
ing, 164,  409;  green  corn,  164, 
409;  harvest,  164,  409;  white 
dog,  164-167,  409-411;  maple, 
409;  strawberry,  409. 

Fields,  Mr.,  25,  30. 

Fillmore,  Millard,  427-428. 

Fish  Creek,  271.* 

Five  Nations,  history,  376. 

Flint  Creek,«?268.* 

Flying  Feathers,  240. 

Fonda,  272.* 

Forbes,  General,  341. 

Fort  Armstrong,  416. 

Fort  Augusta,  405. 

Fort  Brewerton,  270.* 

Fort  Canagojigge,  see  Fort  Cono- 

Fort  Chambers,  315,  321. 

Fort  Conococheague  (Canago- 
jigge), 26,  3 14-3 1 5,  322;  see 
also  Fort  McCord. 

Fort  Conowongo,  53. 

Fort  Duquesne,  see  Fort  Pitt. 



Fort  Erie,  300,  375. 

Fort  Freeland,  106,  404-405. 

Fort  Frontenac,  379. 

Fort  Hunter,  272.* 

Fort  Ligonier,  322. 

Fort  Littleton,  321. 

Fort  Loudon,  313,  3 15. 

Fort  Machault,  366. 

Fort    McCord,    315,    321,    322, 

323;    see   also   Fort   Conoco- 


Fort  Neagaw,  see  Fort  Niagara. 
Fort  Necessity,  21,  123,  309. 
Fort  Niagara  (Neagaw),  55,  67, 

68,  78,  82,  146-147,  248,  260, 

375,  378,  380,  383,  384- 
Fort  Oswego,  390. 
Fort  Pitt  (Duquesne),  32,  38,  41, 


340-341,  357- 
Fort  Plain,  77,  272.* 
Fort  Schlosser  (Sclusser),  55, 146, 

147,  260. 

Fort  Schuyler,  392. 
Fort  Sclusser,  see  Fort  Schlosser. 
Fort  Stanwix,  vii,  68,  77,  392. 
Fox  Indians,  431. 
Fraser,  John,  366. 
Free  Ferry,  53. 
French  Creek,  52,  366,  374. 
French  War,  63,  388,  389. 
Frissell,  Algernon  S.,  b. 
Funeral  customs  of  Senecas,  172- 

173,  420-421. 
Furniss,  Frederick  H.,  338. 

Gahunda,  431.* 

Galbrahh,  C.  B.,  n. 

Gallatin,  Albert,  325. 

Ganagarahhare,  366. 

Ganehdaontweh,  344. 

Ganowauges,  266.* 

Gaoundowahnah  (Big  Tree),  247. 

Gardeau  (Gardow),  59,  74,  79, 
82,  84,  95  *  et  seq.y  129,  136, 
138,  180,  232,  233,  236,  237, 
246,  255,  257,  266,*  279,  287, 
351,  402,*  403,  406,  422,  426, 
433;  illustrations  facing  256, 
272,  280,  288,  304. 

Gardow,  see  Gardeau. 

Gardow,  nickname  for  Hiokatoo, 

62,  95. 

Garoga  Creek,  272.* 
Gauntlet,  running  the,  336-337. 
Gawgushshawga,  50,*  365,*  372, 

Genesee  (Genishau),  it  49,  51,* 
53,55»56,77,79,96,  145,251, 
254*,  255*,  365,*  367,  368,* 
369,  371-374,  383-. 

Genesee  County  Indian  names, 

Genesee    Falls    (Rochester)    87, 

Genesee    Flats,    89,    156,    407; 

first  neat  cattle,  56,  383. 
Genesee  River,  i,  /,  xiii,  51,  79, 

90,   127,   138,   143,   155,   156, 

178,  193,  208,  219,  231,  236- 

242,  246,  251  et  seq.y  266,*  302; 

described,  180,  181,  255. 
Geneseo,  53,  156,  202,  266,*  369, 

Geneva,  «,  268,*  338;    see  also 

Genishau,  see  Genesee. 
Genundewah,  157,*  159,  409.* 
Geographical  names,  see  Names. 
German  Flats,  64,  65,  150,  389. 
Gettysburg,  220-227,  307,  308, 

Gettysburg  Compiler, «,  213, 214, 

2l6,    220,    221,    223,    304,    311, 

4330,  427. 

Gibson,  Henry  B.,  138,  194,  246. 
Gilbert,  Barnhart,  223. 
Ginisaga,  87.* 
Ginseng,  87. 

Gist,  Christopher,  357,  374,  419. 
Golden  Creek,  267.* 
Gordon,  Harry,  357. 
Gorham,  Nathaniel,  138,  246. 
Gospel  Advocate,  299. 
Government  of  the  Indians,  169- 

170,  4II-4I3- 

Grammatical  usage,  302,  303. 
Grand  Island,  265,*  271.* 
Grand  River,  273.* 
Grandondawe,  chief,  342. 
Great  Hill,  157. 
Great  Meadows  battle,  21,  309. 



Great  Slide,  xiii,  127,  138,  180, 

Great  Spirit  (Nauwaneu),   161, 

162,  163,  166. 
Great  Valley  Creek,  264.* 
Greckler,  Peter,  222. 
Green,    Billy,    Mary    Jemison's 

son-in-law,  143. 
Green,   Mrs.    Billy,   see   Nancy 


Green  corn  feast,  164,  409. 
Green    Grasshopper    (Indian 

chief),  343,  344. 
Green,    John,    Mary    Jemison  s 

son-in-law,  144. 

Green,  Longman,  etc.,  278,  292. 
Green,  Mildred,  289. 
Gregory  Henry  E.,  b. 
Gregory,    Morilla,    see    Morilla 


Grindstone  Creek,  270.* 
Groveland,  150,  156. 
Gurty,  Simon,  109,  112,  113. 
Guyandot  River,  358,  359. 
Guyusuday,  chief,  342. 

Hale,  Horatio,  319. 

Hall,  Edward  Hagaman,  b,  m,  n, 

239,  241,  290,  298,  299,  300, 

301,  312,  380,  381,  382,  427, 

428,  illust.  opp.  416. 
Halsey,  Francis  W.,  b. 
Hamilton,  272,*  273,* 
Handsome  Lake,  207,  354. 
Harbaugh,  Henry,  223. 
Harbaugh,  Yost,  223. 
Harper  &  Brothers,  d,  293. 
Harriman,  Mrs.  Edward  H.,  b. 
Hartman,  Samuel,  214. 
Hasket  Creek,  265.* 
Hatch,  Israel  T.,  245. 
Hawkins,  Captain,  405. 
Hayden  &  Holmes,  301. 
Heckwelder,  John,  320. 
Hemlock  Lake,  152,  261,  266.* 
Hemlock  Outlet,  266,*  268.* 
Henderson's  Flats,  152. 
Hennepin,  Louis,  379,  382. 
Herkimer,  272.* 
Hewitt,  J.  N.  B.,  326,  329,  333, 

336,  379,  400. 

Hiawatha,  317. 

Hiokatoo,  Mary  Jemison's  sec- 
ond husband,  62,  80,  83,  95, 
98,  280,  282,  283,  284,  346, 
348,364,372,403;  biography, 
103-118;  portrait  facing,  208. 

Hobart  College,  c,  290,  338. 

Holland  Purchase,  *,  299,  398, 
399,  400,  407,  424. 

Holmes  &  Hayden,  301. 

Homer,  269.* 

Hommany,  47,  361, 

Honayewus,  94. 

Honeoye,  67. 

Honeoye  Creek,  70,  267.* 

Honeoye  Falls,  267.* 

Honeoye  Lake,  152,  261,  268.* 

Honesty  of  Indians,  49, 177,  362. 

Hot   Bread    (Indian   patriarch), 


Howe,  Henry,  406. 
Howell,  Judge,  138,  246. 
Howland,  Isabel,  illust.  opp.  416. 
Howland's  Island,  269.* 
Hudson  River,  273.* 
Humphrey,  Wolcott  J.,  b. 
Humphrey,     Mrs.    Wolcott    J., 

illust.  opp.  416. 
Hunt,    Rebecca    (Mrs.   William 

Seaver),  298. 

Hurd,  Ziba,  181,  399,  421. 
Huron  Indians,  334,  386. 
Hutchins,  Thomas,  363. 

Ice-caps  on  Seneca  Lake,  396- 


Indian  Cross  Creek,  35,  327. 

Indian  River,  271.* 

Indians,  occupations,  47;  high 
character,  64;  women  labor, 
122;  "will  be  Indians,"  361- 
362;  see  also  tribal  names; 
also  subject  titles,  as,  Adop- 
tion, Baby-carrying,  Barbari- 
ties, Blood-revenge,  Bounty, 
Captivities,  Child-birth,  Chro- 
nology, Courtship,  Credulity, 
Dances,  Family  Government, 
Festivals,  Funerals,  Gauntlet, 
Government,  Honesty,  Kings, 
Marriage,  Murder,  Names, 



Peace  Ceremony,  Polygamy, 
Population,  Religion,  Sacri- 
fices, Scalps,  Sex,  Squaw,  Su- 
perstition, Unanimity,  Wake, 

Indian  Short  Creek,  35. 

Ingles,  Mr.  135. 

Inscriptions,  196,  235,  423. 

Interpreters,  318-319. 

Irondequoit  Bay,  267.* 

Irving,  Washington,  393. 

Irwin,  Jane,  see  Jane  Erwin  and 
Mrs.  Thomas  Jemison. 

Ischuna  Creek,  264.* 

Ithaca,  268,*  269.* 

ack,  an  Indian,  128  et  seq. 
amesville.    270.* 
amesville  Creek,  270.* 
amison,  see  Jemison. 
efferson  County  Indian  names, 

Jemison,  Betsey,  sister  of  Mary, 

Jemison,  Betsey,  daughter  of 
Mary,  62,  143,  244,  402;  date 
of  birth  discussed,  349-354. 

Jemison,  Catharine,  grand- 
daughter of  Mary,  244. 

Jemison,  George  (alleged  cousin 
of  Mary  Jemison),  xiii,  115, 
121,  123-126,  127,  407. 

Jemison,  George,  grandson  of 
Mary,  244. 

Jemison,  Jacob,  grandson  of 
Mary,  102,  196,  197,  244,  423. 

Jemison,  Jane,  daughter  of  Mary, 
63;  date  of  birth,  346-354. 

Jemison,  Jane  (Mrs.  White), 
granddaughter  of  Mary,  244. 

Jemison,  Jesse,  son  of  Mary,  62, 
118,  119,  120,  121,  122,  348- 

Jemison,     Jesse,     grandson     of 

Mary,  244. 
Jemison,  John,  uncle  of  Mary, 

Jemison,  John,  brother  of  Mary, 

I9.»  25- 

Jemison,  John,  son  of  Mary,  62, 
97»  98,  99,  ioo,  118,  119,  120, 

127-132,  135,  136,  348-353, 
406,  407. 

Jemison,  John,  grandson  of 
Mary,  244. 

Jemison,  Mary  (Dehgewanus), 
ancestral  home  in  Ireland,  17, 
303-304;  parents,  17,  18;  born 
at  sea,  19,  215,  432;  year  of 
birth  discussed,  305-307;  set- 
tles at  Marsh  Creek,  19,  307- 
308,  illustrations  opp.  48,  64; 
education  and  religious  train- 
ing, xiv,  23;  alarmed  at  In- 
dian raids,  20;  omen  of  capr 
ture,  23;  captured,  25,  433, 
and  illustration  facing  80; 
date  of  capture,  310-312;  age 
when  captured,  314;  place  of 
capture,  213-227,  and  illus- 
trations opp.  96,  112,  144; 
journey  to  Fort  Pitt,  25-32; 
route  of  captors,  320-324,  and 
map  opp.  160;  mother's  fare- 
well address,  27;  murder  of 
her  family,  30;  preparation  of 
their  scalps,  30;  arrives  at 
Fort  Pitt,  32;  given  to  two 
Seneca  women,  34;  journeys 
down  the  Ohio,  34;  passes 
Shawnee  town  where  white 
men  had  been  burned,  35;  ar- 
rives at  Seneca  town,  35; 
adopted  by  Indians,  36; 
dressed  in  Indian  costume,  27, 
36,  327,  and  illustration  opp. 
176;  named  Dickewamis 
(Dehgewanus),  37,  38,  199, 
328-329;  taught  Seneca  lan- 
guage, 40;  arrives  at  Sciota, 
41;  returns  to  mouth  of 
Shenanjee,  41,  340;  taken  to 
Fort  Pitt,  42;  hope  of  liberty 
destroyed,  43 ;  goes  to  Wiishto, 

43,  342;  married  to  Sheninjee, 

44,  345,  347;  her  love  for  him, 
44;    first  child  born,  45,  347, 
355;    returns  from   Sciota  to 
Wiishto,  46,  361;   son  Thomas 
born,  45,  347,  348;  at  Wiishto 
and  Fort  Pitt,  46;    homes  on 
the  Ohio,  355-361 ;    invited  to 



Jemison,  Mary: 

Genesee,  51;  departs  from 
Wiishto,  49,  363;  journeys  to 
the  Genesee,  49-53,  3.69-375; 
intercedes  for  a  captive,  50; 
arrives  at  Genesee,  53;  suffer- 
ings on  journey,  53;  revolts 
at  Indian  cruelties,  56;  death 
of  Sheninjee,  58,  384;  marries 
Hiokatoo,  62,  346,  347;  has 
six  children  by  Hiokatoo,  62; 
order  of  birth  of  all  her  chil- 
dren, 346-354;  life  among  the 
Indians,  63  et  seq.;  hospitality 
to  Butler  and  Brant,  68;  suf- 
fers from  Sullivan's  raid,  70  et 
seq.;  arrives  and  remains  at 
Gardeau,  74;  hired  by  a  negro, 
75;  harbors  Ebenezer  Allen, 
79  et  seq.;  offered  liberty,  92, 
101;  decides  to  remain  with 
Indians,  93;  given  tract  of 
land  at  Gardeau,  95;  descrip- 
tion of  Gardeau,  402-403,  and 
illustrations  opp.,  256,  272, 
280,  288,  304;  sons  Thomas 
and  John  quarrel,  97;  John 
kills  Thomas,  99,  348;  John 
acquitted,  100;  death  of 
Hiokatoo,  103;  John  jealous 
of  Jesse,  118;  Jesse  quarrels 
with  Chongo,  119;  John  kills 
Jesse,  120;  receives  George 
Jemison  as  cousin,  123;  de- 
frauded by  him,  125;  John 
sees  omen  in  Great  Slide,  127; 
John  murdered  by  Doctor  and 
Jack,  128;  Mary  refuses  over- 
tures from  murderers,  130, 131; 
Tall  Chief's  speech  to  murder- 
ers, 131;  Jack  commits  suicide, 
134;  Mary  naturalized,  135, 
136,  246,  434;  engages  a  guar- 
dian, 136;  real  estate  transac- 
tions, 136  et  seq.;  sells  most  of 
her  land,  138,  139;  retrospect, 
139;  health,  140;  abstemious- 
ness, 141;  strength,  142;  self- 
support,  143 ;  not  a  witch,  143 ; 
chastity,  143;  charity  and 
generosity,  194,  421;  forti- 

Jemison,  Mary: 

tude,  212;  hospitality,  68,  79, 
123,  212;  humanity,  50,  364; 
narrates  story  of  her  life  to 
Dr.  Seaver,  g,  x-xiv;  per- 
sonal appearance,  x,  212,  217, 
229,  230,  239-241;  makes  her 
will,  243-245,  291;  sells  her 
annuity,  194,  247;  removes 
from  Gardeau  to  Buffalo,  194, 
426;  her  last  years  there,  199; 
recalls  her  mother's  prayer, 
2io;  renounces  paganism,  195, 
196,  209-211,  279,  426;  last 
hours,  208-212;  death,  195, 
196,  434;  buried  at  Buffalo, 
195,  228,  434;  disinterment  at 
Buffalo,  229-234;  reinter- 
ment at  Letchworth  Park,  /, 
231-236,  28?,  302,  427,  434, 
and  illustration,  242;  monu- 
ment at  her  grave,  235;  bronze 
statue  erected,  238-242,  327, 
434,  frontispiece  and  illustra- 
tion opp.  416;  her  children, 
143,  144,  196,  244;  other 
descendants,  196,  197,  200- 
207,  244,  423 ;  her  life  reviewed 
by  Author,  vii-xv;  reviewed 
by  Reviser,  g-n;  epochal  years 
in  her  life,  432-435;  publica- 
tion of  her  narrative,  g,  ix-xv, 
434;  bibliography,  274-293. 

Jemison,  Matthew,  brother  of 
Mary,  20,  25,  29. 

Jemison,  Nancy  (Mrs.  Billy 
Green),  daughter  of  Mary 
Jemison,  62,  67,  127,  143,  236, 
244,  402;  date  of  birth,  349- 

Jemison,  Peggy  (Mrs.  White), 
granddaughter  of  Mary,  244. 

Jemison,  Polly  (Mrs.  George 
Shongo),  daughter  of  Mary 
Jemison,  62,  121,  143,  199,  200, 
218,  232,  244;  date  of  birth, 

Jemison,     Robert,     brother     of 

Mary,  20,  25,  29. 
Jemison,     Thomas,     father     of 

Mary,  18,  196,  215,  216,  222, 




304,     310,     311,     315, 
spelled  Jamieson. 
Jemison,  Mrs.  Thomas,  mother 
of  Mary,  18,  25,  196;  see  also 
Jane  Erwin. 
Jemison,    Thomas,    brother    of 

Mary,  19,  25. 

Jemison,  Thomas,  son  of  Mary, 
45,  46,  60,  61,  62,  79,  82,  92, 
97»  98,  99,  ioo,  102,  118,  126, 
130,  244,  347,  371,  373,  403. 
Jemison,  Thomas  (Buffalo  Tom), 
grandson  of  Mary,  201-207, 
231,  234,  241,  244,  425;  por- 
trait facing  368. 

Jemison,  Mrs.  Thomas  (wife  of 
Buffalo  Tom),  206. 

esuit  Relations,  375  et  seq. 

ishgege  (Josh  Kanga),  343. 

ocelyn  &  Whitney,  287. 

ohnson,  British  officer,  68. 

ohnson,  Hank,  205. 

ohnson,    Sir  William,  62,  147, 
148,  386. 

ohnson's  Creek,  267.* 

ohnston,  British  officer,  77. 

ohnston,  John,  405. 

ohnstown,  62,  272.* 

ones,  Horatio,  67,  95,  122,  138, 
157,  170,  246,  248,  253,  263, 

319.  403- 
ordan,  270. 
ordan  Creek,  270.* 
ordan,  John  W.,  «,  305,  311. 
osh  Kanga  (Jishgege),  343. 

Kanadesaga  (Geneva),  152,  338, 

391,  392,  408. 
Katydid  (chief),  343. 

atydid  (chief),  343. 
Kaujisestaugeau,     Mary    Jemi- 

son's  Indian  brother,  92,*  93, 

101,  313,  433- 
Kautam,  95,*  403.* 
Keeper  Awake,  see  Red  Jacket. 
Kelby,  Robert  H.,  n,  397. 
Kelley,  John  P.,  233,  234. 
Kennedy,  Mrs.  Thomas,  241. 
Kennedy,  Ulysses  J.,  425. 
Kilkennon  family,  214. 
Kill  Buck's  town,  262. 
King,  history  of  Ohio,  371. 

Kings,  none  among  the  Senecas, 

.59,  387- 

Kingsford,  Thomas  P.,  b. 
Kingston,  273,*  379. 
Knight,  Dr.,  no,  in,  114,  115, 

405,  406. 

Kuhn,  Abner  D.,  223. 
Kunz,  George   F.,  b,  239,  241, 

illust.  opp.  416. 

Lafayette,  269.* 

Lake  Champlain,  273.* 

Lake  Erie,  265.* 

Lake  Ontario,  267,*  378,*  380. 

Lake  St.  Francis,  273.* 

Lamb,  Frederick  S.,  b. 

Lancaster,  N.  Y.,  265.* 

Lansing,  R.  R.,  ii. 

La  Salle,  Sieur  de,  379. 

Las  Casas,  394. 

Lear,  Tobias,  428. 

Lee,  Thomas  H.,  b. 

Leicester,  67,  123,  155,  174,  407. 

Lenox,  272.* 

Le  Roy,  266.* 

Letchworth,  Ann  Hance,  301. 

Letchworth,  John,  301. 

Letchworth,  Josiah,  301. 

Letchworth,  Ogden  P.,  b. 

Letchworth  Park,  described, 
236-242;  mentioned,  /,  225, 
274,  287,  290,  293,  302,  304, 
314,  327,  421,  427,  434;  post- 
office  address,  b. 

Letchworth,  William  P.,  bio- 
graphical note,  301-302;  gift 
of  Letchworth  Park,  236-242; 
acquires  "The  Life  of  Mary 
Jemison,"  287-290,  293;  por- 
trait opp.  400;  mentioned,  c, 
e,  g,  i,  213,  217,  228,  288,  290, 
293,  297,  303,  3H,  349,  421, 
423,  426,  427,  434,  at  dedica- 
tion of  statue,  illust.  opp.  416. 

Lewiston,  260,  267.* 

Lima,  266.* 

Lime  Lake,  264.* 

Limestone  Creek,  270.* 

Liquor,  see  Spirits. 

Little  Beard,  71,  72,  78,  86,  133, 

178,   202,    254. 



Little  Beard's  Town,  67,  70,  72, 
75,  76,  83,  251,  253,  259,  260, 
261,  266,*  429;*  see  also 
Beard's  Town. 

Little  Billy,  44,  343~34S>  3^- 

Little  Conowago,  213. 

Little  Falls,  272.* 

Little  Johnson,  199. 

Little  Salmon  Creek,  270.* 

Little  Sodus  Bay,  268.* 

Little  Valley  Creek,  264.* 

Liverpool,  270.* 

Liverpool  Creek,  270.* 

Livers,  Joseph  I.,  214,  220,  223. 

Livingston  County  Indian 
names,  266. 

Livonia,  266.* 

Lock  port,  267.* 

Lockwood's  Cove,  269.* 

Logstown,  324. 

Lohstetter  (Lowstetter),  John, 
222,  223. 

Long  Island,  273.* 

Longman,  Rees,  Orme,  Brown  & 
Green,  278,  292. 

Lowstetter    (Lohstetter),    John, 

222,   223. 

Lounsbury,  Thomas  R.,  303. 
Lower  Sandusky,  114,  115. 
Lower  Shawnee  Town,  316,  339; 

see  also  Shawnee  Town. 
Luther,  Benjamin,  129. 

Machin,  Captain,  408. 
Machin,  Thomas,  408. 
Madison  County  Indian  names, 

272.  ^ 

Mahoning  Trail,  374. 
Manlius,  270.* 
Mann,  Cameron,  m,  382. 
Mann,  William,  214,  310,  312- 


Marcellus,  270.* 

Marriage  Customs  of  Indians, 
44,  171,  345,  354,  414-420;  see 
also  Polygamy.  +* 

Marsh  Creek,  described,  307- 
308;  mentioned,  19,  196,  215, 
216,  220-227,  279,  280,  304, 
310,  311,  313,  315,  321;  illus- 
trations facing,  48,  64. 

Marston,  Major,  416. 
Matthews  Bros.  &  Bryant,  288, 


Matthews  &  Warren,  287,  293. 
McCall,  Margaret,  298. 
McCauley,  I.  H.,  314. 
McClean,  William  A.,  221. 
McDonald,  Col.,  107,  405. 
McFarland,  E.  F.,  313. 
McGregor,  Mille,  399. 
McKenna,  James,  s  and  illust. 

facing  312. 

McKenrick,  Samuel,  214. 
McKinley,  W.  D.,  232,  234. 
McMillin,  Emerson,  b. 
McNair,  Isaac,  233,  234. 
Meachem,  Thomas  W.,  b. 
Medina,  267.* 
Mercer,  Colonel,  419. 
Merwin,  Heman,  182. 
Middleport,  267.* 
Miller,  Mark,  280. 
Miller  &  Butterfield,  279,  280, 

Miller,  Orton  &  Mulligan,  285, 

Mills,  at  Rochester,  87,  398,  399; 

at  Portage  Falls,  181,  256,  399, 


Mingo  Town,  357. 
Mix,      Ebenezer,      biographical 

note,  299-300;    mentioned,  c, 

g*  i>  I93>  198,  251,  282,  283, 

284,  290,  292,  297,  328,  350, 

352,  353>  412,  417,  418,  421, 

427,  429,  432. 
Mohawk  Castles,  273.* 
Mohawk  Indians,  107,  170,  263, 

324;    place-names,  272-273. 
Mohawk  River,  150,  271,*  272.* 
Mohican  Indians,  324. 
Monongahela  River,  ^32,*  78. 
Monroe  County  Indian  names, 


Montezuma,  269.* 
Montreal,  273.* 
Moore,  Mrs.  John,  391. 
Moose  River,  271.* 
Moot,  Adelbert,  b. 
Morgan,  Jedediah,  300. 
Morgan,  J.  Pierpont,  b. 



Morgan,  Lewis  H.  (Tayadao- 
wuhkuh),  biographical  note, 
300-301;*  mentioned,  c,  g,  i, 
240,  264,  285,  290,  292,  293, 
297>  320,  325,  328,  332,  336, 
337»  338,*  367,  376,  377»  378, 
380,  391,  398,  400,  402,  407, 
409,  412-414,  416,  429-431. 

Morgan's  riflemen,  150. 

Morris,  Robert,  90. 

Morris,  Thomas,  90,  388. 

Morristown,  N.  J.,  156. 

Moscow,  138,  156,  246,  254, 
266,*  344.  f 

Mount  Morris,  81,  83,  86,  89, 
90,  1 1 8,  1 80,  202,  255,  258,  259, 
261,  266,*  425,  430.* 

Mud  Creek,  268.* 

Mulligan,  Miller  &  Orton,  285, 

Munson,  William  B.,  217. 

Murder,  Indian  punishment  of, 

Murder  Creek,  265.* 

Murphy,  a  rifleman,  153. 

Muskingum  River,  363,  364,  365, 

Muskrat  Lake,  269.* 

Muskwaki  Indians,  334. 

Names,  geographical,  by  Ebe- 
nezer  Mix,  251-263;  of  the 
Five  Nations,  by  Lewis  H. 
Morgan,  264-273. 

Nanticoke  Indians,  79. 

Naples,  268.* 

Napoli,  262. 

Nauwaneu  (Great  Spirit),  161,* 
162,  163,  166,  409.* 

Neagaw,  see  Niagara  and  Fort 

Nettles,  Mr.,  44,  82,  83,  85,  86. 

Neutral  Indians,  334,  381,  382. 

Newberry  Library,  275. 

New  Hartford,  272.* 

New  Haven  Creek,  270.* 

Newkirk,  William,  78. 

Newtown  (Elmira),  151,  152. 

New  York,  273.* 

New  York  Historical  Society, 
n,  338,  397- 

New  York  Mercury,  311. 

New  York  Public  Library,  281, 
293,  312. 

New  York  State  Library,  338. 

New  York  State  Museum,  239, 
240,  241,  327,  328,  339,  344, 
354>  398. 

New  York  State  University,  302. 

Niagara  (Neagaw),  55,  78,  81,  82, 
83,  84,  87,  145  et  seq.;  deriva- 
tion of  word,  375-383;*  see 
also  Fort  Niagara. 

Niagara  County  Indian  names, 

Niagara  Falls,  180,  267,*  377. 

Niagara  River,  Indian  name, 
267,*  378  *  et  seq.;  portage 
road,  148;  see  also  Niagara. 

Niagara  Village,  267.* 

Night,  Dr.,  see  Knight. 

Nine  Mile  Creek,  270,*  272.* 

Nishanyenant,  see  Seneca  White. 

Noble,  J.,  277. 

Noel,  Daniel,  223. 

Nomenclature,  see  Names. 

North  Sterling  Creek,  269.* 

Norwich,  272.* 

Nunda,  266,*  409.* 

Oakfield,  265.* 

Oak  Orchard  Creek,  267.* 

O'Bail,  John,  origin  of  name,  397- 

398;*  see  also  Corn-planter. 
Ogden,  Mr.,  90. 
Ogdensburgh,  271.* 
Ohio,  33,*  320.* 
Oil  Creek,  264,*  270.* 
Oil  Spring  Village,  265.* 
Old  Castle,  261. 
Old  King,  59,  60,  61,  93. 
Olean,  265.* 
Olmsted,  John,  237. 
Oneida  Castle,  272.* 
Oneida   County   Indian   names, 


Oneida  Creek,  271.* 
Oneida  Depot,  272.* 
Oneida  Indians,  70,  170,  263, 

324,   389;    place-names,   271- 

Oneida  Lake,  170,  271.* 



Oneida  Outlet,  270.* 
Onondaga  Castle,  270.* 
Onondaga  Creek,  270.* 
Onondaga  Hollow,  270.* 
Onondaga    Indians,     170,    263, 

324;    place-names,  269-271. 
Onondaga  Lake,  270.* 
Onondaga  West  Hill,  270.* 
Ontario,  267,*  320.* 
Ontario  County  Indian  names, 


Ontario  Trail,  267.* 
O'Reilly,  Henry,  219,  303,  383, 

398,  404- 

Onskany,  271,*  392. 
Oriskany  Creek,  271.* 
Orleans  County  Indian  names, 


Orme,  Longman,  etc.,  278,  292. 
Orton,  Miller  &  Mulligan,  285, 


Oswaya  Creek,  264.* 
Oswegatchie  River,  271.* 
Oswego,  65,  66,  270.* 
Oswego  County  Indian  names, 


Otisco,  269.* 
Otisco  Lake,  269.* 
Otisco  Outlet,  269.* 
Otsego  Lake,  273,*  391. 
Otsquago  Creek,  272.* 
Otter  Creek,  271.* 
Otter  Lake,  269.* 
Owaiski,  266.* 
Owandot  Indians,  324. 
Owasco  Inlet,  269.* 
Owasco  Lake,  269.* 
Owasco  Outlet,  269.* 
Owego,  269.* 
Owego  Creek,  269.* 
Oxford,  272.* 

Painted  Post,  268.* 

Palmer,  Alva,  181,  399,  421. 

Palmyra,  268.* 

Paris'Hill,  271.* 

Parker,  Arthur  C.,  n,  239,  241, 
317,  319,  325,  329,  333,  334, 
335.  336,  339,  344,  345,  354, 
355,  36i,  398,  400,  403,  431, 
must.  opp.  416. 

Parker,  Ely  S.  (Donehogaweh), 
285,*  289,  300,  319,380. 

Parker,  captive  soldier,  154,  155, 

Parkin,  R.,  277,  292. 

Parkman,  Francis,  378,  385. 

Parrish,  Jasper,  95,  96,  138,  246, 

3i9»  4°3- 

Partridge,  Edward  L.,  b. 
Peace  Ceremony  Approaching  a 

Town,  317-318. 
Peck,  Gordon  H.,  b. 
Peirson,iLouis  H.,  241, 242,  illust. 

opp.  416. 
Pembroke,  266.* 
Pennsylvania,  Scull's  map,  321; 

facsimile  facing  160. 
Pennsylvania  Gazette,  214,  222, 

310,311,312;  facsimile  facing 


Pennsylvania  Historical  Com- 
mission, n,  315,  321,  339,  366, 

Pennsylvania  Historical  Society, 

n,  305,  306. 
Perkins,  George  W.,  b. 
Phillips,  N.  Taylor,  b. 
Pickering,  Timothy,  376. 
Pine  Hill,  265.* 

Pittsburgh  Conference,  341-342. 
Planting  feast,  164,  409. 
Pollard,  Captain  (Shagodiyotha), 

245,  247,  248.* 
Polygamy  of  Ebenezer  Allen,  88; 

among  Senecas,  97,  102,  130. 
Pompey,  270.* 
Pompey  Hill,  270.* 
Poncet,  Father,  334,  335. 
Population  of  Indians,  170,  262, 

263,  324,  413-414. 
Portage    Falls    (in    Letchworth 

Park),  180,  181,  232,  236,  255, 

287,  302;  illustration  opp.  432. 
Portageville,  255,  256. 
Porter,  Charles  T.,  337. 
Porter,  Gen.  P.  B.,  300,  344. 
Powell,  Captain,  391. 
Pownall,  Governor,  357,  420. 
Price,  Mr.,  78. 
Prideaux,  Gen.,  146. 
Pritts,  J.,  308,  406. 



Prompjt,  Indian,  179. 
Pulaski,  270.* 

Putnam's  Sons,  G.  P.,  288,  289, 
290,  293,  397. 

Quebec,  273.* 
Queenston,  148. 
Queenstown,  273.* 

Racket  River,  273.* 

Ramsay,  Priscilla,  44,  82,  360. 

Raquette  River,  273.* 

Red  Jacket  (Sagoyewatha  or 
Saguyuwhathah),  94,*  95,  228, 
232,  241,  247,  252,*  343,  400- 
401,*  430;  portrait  facing  320. 

Red  Jacket  Village,  265.* 

Red  River,  105. 

Rees,  Longman,  etc.,  278,  292. 

Reese,  David,  406,  407. 

Reid,  W.  Max,  397. 

Religion  of  Senecas,  159,  207; 
see  also  Festivals. 

Reuss,  Frank  L.,  facing  312. 

Ricord,  John,  245. 

Rochester,  87,^259,  267.* 

Rochester     Historical     Society, 

-  338. 

Rochester  Post-Express,  «,  243, 
275,  428. 

Rogers,  Mr.,  90. 

Rolph,  Stephen,  181. 

Rome,  271.* 

Route  of  Mary  Jemison's  ab- 
ductors, 320-324  and  map 
opp.  1 60. 

Royalton  Center,  267.* 

Sac  Indians,  431. 
Sackett,  Henry  W.,  b. 
Sacketts  Harbor,  271.* 
Sacrifices  by  Indians,  43-44. 
Saguyuwhathah    (Red    Jacket), 


Saint  Helena,  258. 
Saint  Lawrence  River,  271.* 
Saint  Leger,  390. 
Saint  Regis,  273.* 
Saint  Regis  River,  273.* 
Salina,  270.* 
Salmon,  John,  150,  156. 

Salmon  Creek,  267.* 

Salmon  River,  273.* 

Samp's  Creek,  60. 

Samson,  William  H.,  w,  n,  243, 
275,  291;  biographical  note, 

Sandusky,  363.* 

Sandusky  Bay  (Lake),  363. 

Sandusky  Creek,  49,  50,  363,  364. 

Sandy  Creek,  267,*  270.* 

Sangerfield,  271.* 

Sanson,  d'Abbeville,  382. 

Saratoga,  273.* 

Sawanoono,  see  Shawnees. 

Sawyer,  John,  392. 

Saxton,  Barker  &  Co,  286,  293. 

Saxton,  C.  M.,  286,  293. 

Scalps,  method  of  preservation, 

Schenectady,  150,  273.* 

Schoharie,  150. 

Schoharie  Creek,  77,  272.* 

Schuyler  County  Chronicle,  397. 

Sciota  (Scioto)  River,  41,  43,  45, 

Scott,  General,  344. 

Scottsville,  267.* 

Scribas  Creek,  271.* 

Scull,  W.,  321,  and  map  facing 
1 60. 

Sea-shell  medal  illustration,  435. 

Seaver,  James  E.,  biographical 
note,  298-299;  bibliography  of 
his  "Life  of  Mary  Jemison," 
276-293;  mentioned,  c,  g  et 
seq.,  i  et  seq.,  149,  293,  297, 
327-329,  340,  341,  343,  346, 
356-358,  369,  370,  376'  3.83, 
404,  414,  432;  portrait  facing 

Seaver,  Capt.  William,  298. 

Seaver,  William,  &  Son,  z,  282, 
283,  284,  292. 

Selkirk,  Alexander,  194. 

Seminole  Indians,  394. 

Seneca  Indians  adopt  Mary 
Jemison,  34,  36;  on  Ohio 
River,  35,  357;  residuary  in- 
terest in  Mary  Jemison's  land, 
139;  removed  from  the  Gen- 
esee,  193,  202;  predecessors, 


76,  95;  intentions  suspected, 
148;  origin,  157;  Indian  name, 
157,*  409;*  religion,  63,  159- 
163,  207;  feasts,  163-167; 
dances,  167-169;  government, 
169-170;  had  no  kings,  387; 
number,  170,  263,  324;  court- 
ships, 171;  family  govern- 
ment, 171;  funerals,  172,  173; 
credulity,  173-175;  farming, 
175-176;  chronology,  176-177; 
place-names,  264-268;  in  the 
Revolution,  389. 

Seneca,  John,  249. 

Seneca  Lake,  152,  261,  268*; 
Ice-caps,  396-397- 

Seneca  River,  269.* 

Seneca  Village,  267.* 

Seneca,  White,  249. 

Severance,    Frank    H.,    n,    275, 

3i9»  3?5>  389»  390,  425- 
Sex  relations  of  the  Indians,  417- 


Shagodiyotha,  see  Captain  Pol- 

Shanks,  an  Indian,  100. 
Sharp  Shins,  an  Indian  chief,  206. 
Sharp,  William,  222. 
Sharps  Run,  221,  224,  225,  308, 

321;  illustration  facing  112. 
Shawnee  Indians,  34,  35,  50,  324, 

325,    339»    34°>   361;     Indian 

name,  325.* 
Shawnee  Town,  35,  325;  see  also 

Lower  Shawnee  Town. 
Shenanjee  River,  35,  40,  42,  340; 

location,  327,  356. 
Sheninjee,  Mary  Jemison's  first 

husband,  44,  45,  51,  58,  345, 

347*  363,  365>  384- 
Sherburn,  272.* 
Sherlock,  the  Deserter,  386. 
Sherwood,  301. 
Shingas  Town,  325. 
Shongo,  David,  200. 
Shongo  (Chongo),  George,  Mary 

Jemison's  son-in-law,  119,  120, 

121,  130,  143,  199,  200,  233. 
Shongo,  Mrs.  George,  see  Polly 

Shongo,     James,    grandson    of 

Mary  Jemison,  201,  229-235, 
349,  350;  portrait  facing  384. 

Shongo,  John  (George),  232. 

Short  Creek,  356. 

Silver  Creek,  264.* 

Silver  Lake,  258,  266,*  430.* 

Silver  Lake  Outlets,  266.* 

Simcoe,  Governor,  399. 

Simpson,  Michael,  150,  156. 

Six  Nations,  numbers,  170,  263, 
342;  government,  411-413. 

Skaneateles,  269.* 

Skaneateles  Lake,  269.* 

Skaneatice  Lake,  268.* 

Smith,  Clara  A.,  275. 

Smith,  James,  308,  335,  336,  340. 

Smith,  Jeremiah,  174,  175. 

Smith,  Joseph,  67,  392. 

Smith,  William,  «,  386,  387. 

Smock,  John  C.,  396. 

Smokes  Creek,  265.* 

Smoky  Hollow,  258. 

Snow-shoe  illustration,  227. 

Sodus  Bay,  268.* 

Sodus  Bay  Creek,  269.** 

Soongiso  (Tommy  Jemmy),  247. 

South  Mountain,  213,  216. 

South  Onondaga,  270.* 

Spiegel-Johnson,  286. 

Spirits,  ardent,  see  Drunkenness. 

Spofford,  Charles  A.,  b. 

Squaw,  a  term  of  disrepute,  325- 


Squawkie  (Squawky,  Squakie, 
etc.)  Hill,  126,  128,  134,  135, 
202,  255,  258,  259,  261,  266,* 


Stafford,  265.* 
Stambaugh,  Henry,  222. 
Stambaugh,  Jacob,  222. 
Stambaugh,  John,  222. 
Stambaugh,  Philip,  222. 
Stedman,  Mr.,  148,  149. 
Steele,   Harriet   (Mrs.  Jedediah 

Morgan),  300. 
Stem,  Peter,  223. 
Steuben  County  Indian  names3 


Stevens,  James,  245,  248,  249. 
Stevenson,  James,  see  Stevens. 
Stockbridge  Indian  Village,  272.* 



Stone,  Truman,  422. 
Stone,  Truman  L.,  w,  421. 
Stony  Creek,  395. 
Storke,  Elliott  G.,  370. 
Striking  a  Parent  Unforgivable, 

Stryker,  James,  245. 
Stryker,  Manning,  245. 
Sullivan,  Gen.  John,  69,  70,  73, 

74,   149,   151,   156,  282,   289, 

35i»  392. 

Sunbury,  Pa.,  405. 
Sungewaw,  130.* 
Superstition  concerning  eclipse, 

Susquehanna  River,  77,  101,  104, 

in,  156,  269.* 

Swan  Creek,  343,  358-359,  369. 
Syracuse,  270.* 

Tagauusaday,  chief,  342. 
Tall  Chief,  131. 
Tayadaowuhkuh,  see*  Lewis  H. 


Taylor,  Zachary,  428. 
Tecarneodi,  431.* 
Tegg,  T.,  277. 
Tegg,  W.,  284,  292. 
Teushunushungautau     (Chena- 

shunggantan),  262. 
Thanksgiving  Feasts,  163,  409. 
Thayer,  Stephen  H.,  b. 
Thorne,  S.,  284,  285,  292. 
Ticonderoga,  273.* 
Tioga  Point,  150,  151,  156,  268.* 
Tioga  River,  151. 
Tionghinoga  River,  269.* 
Tisagechroami  Indians,  324. 
Tomahawk,  illustration,  296. 
Tomkins,  Calvin,  b. 
Tommy  Jemmy  (Soongiso),  247. 
Tonawanda  (Tonnawanta,  etc.), 

83,   103,   134,   179,   194,   259, 

260,  337,  404. 
Tonawanda  Creek,  265.* 
Tonawanda  Village,  266.* 
Tonewanta,  see  Tonawanda. 
Tonawanta,  see  Tonawanda. 
Toronto,  273.* 
Trails,  of  the  Eries,  265  * ;  from 

the  Delaware  to  the  Ohio,  322. 

Treaties,  at  German  Flats,  64; 

at  Oswego,  66;    at  Big  Tree, 

90,  388,  433;   of  Paris,  433. 
Treman,  Robert  H.,  b. 
Trent,  William,  339. 
Trenton,  N.  J.,  89. 
Trenton  Falls,  271.* 
Trenton  Village,  271.* 
Trumbull,  Mr.,  90. 
Tully,  269.* 
Tully  Lake,  269.* 
Tuneungwan     (Unawaumgwa), 

Turner,  Orasmus,  300,  398,  399, 

400,  407,  424. 
Tuscarora  Creek,  267.* 
Tuscarora  Indians,  170,  179,  336, 

Tuscarora    Village,    260,    266,* 

Two  Sisters  Creek,  265.* 

Ulmann,  Albert,  b. 
Unadilla  River,  272.* 
Unanimity  of  Iroquois  decisions, 

66,  391. 
Unawaumgwa     (Tuneungwan), 

53,*  262,  367. 
Union  College,  300. 
Union  Springs,  269.* 
Upper  Sandusky,  51,  108,  363, 

3.66,  371,  373,  374. 
Utica,  271.* 

Vail,  Charles  Delamater,  Trus- 
tee of  American  Scenic  and 
Historic  Preservation  Society, 
b;  Reviser  of  "The  Life  of 
Mary  Jemison"  and  Author  of 
bibliography  notes,  etc.,  c,  n, 
236,  242,  274-293,  297-435; 
speaker  at  dedication  of  statue 
of  Mary  Jemison,  241,  and 
illustration  opp.  416. 

Vail,  Mrs.  Charles  Delamater, 
donor  of  publication  fund,  <?. 

Van  Sice,  John,  58. 

Venango,  366. 

Vernon,  271.* 

Vernon  Center,  271.* 

Verona,  271.* 



Victor,  268.* 

Village  sites,  temporary,  370. 
Vowel  sounds,  v. 
Vrooman,  John  W.,  b. 

Wadsworth,  Jeremiah,  388. 

Wake,  no  resemblance  to  adop- 
tion ceremony,  339. 

Walker,  William,  277,  278,  281, 

Wampum  Laws,  334. 

War  Dance,  168,  411. 

Ware,  Jesse,  147. 

Warren  &  Matthews,  293. 

Warrior's  Run,  404,  405. 

Warsaw,  266.* 

Washington/George,  21,  38,  108, 
113,  309,  312,  3i3>  330,  366, 

Waterloo,  269.* 

Waterloo  Historical  Society,  338. 

Watertown,  271.* 

Watson,  John  F.,  311,  312. 

Wayne  County  Indian  names, 

Weather,     severe    winters,     75, 


Weaver,  John,  223. 
Weiser,  Conrad,  324. 
Welch,  Alexander  M.,  b. 
Welland  River,  273.* 
West  Bloomfield,  268.* 
West  Canada  Creek,  271,*  272.* 
Whaley,  Jennet,  ix. 
Whaley,   Robert,   119,   120. 
Wheeler,  George,  233,  234. 
White  Boy,  249,  250. 
White  Dog  Feast,  164-167,  409- 

White,  Jane,   granddaughter  of 

Mary  Jemison,  244. 
White,  Peggy,  granddaughter  of 

Mary  Jemison,  244. 
White,   Seneca   (Nishanyenant), 

245,  249,  250.* 
White  Woman   of  the  Genesee 

(Mary  Jemison),  /,  viii. 
Whitestown,  271.* 

Whitestown  Creek,  271.* 

Whitney  &  Jocelyn,  287. 

Whittemore,  Henry,  398. 

Wiishto,  43,  44,  45,  49,  51,  58, 
345,  346,  347,  363,  369,  371, 
372,  383;  location,  342,*  343,* 

Wiles,  William,  129.    m 

William  and  Mary  ship,  18,  215, 

305,  306. 

Williamsburg,  152,  153. 
WUlJamson,  David,  108, 110,405. 
Williamsville,   265.* 
Wilson    Ebenezer.  397. 
Wilson.  James  Grant,  428. 
Wilson  &  Sons,  277. 
Winsor,  Justin,  378. 
Winters,  severe,  75,  395~397- 
Wiscoy,  261,*  266.* 
Wiscoy  Creek,  261,  266.* 
Witchcraft,   97,    143,    174,  177, 

Woff7Creek,  180. 

Wood  Creek,  271.* 

Woodland    &    Donaldson,   280, 


Woods,  William  Seaver,  299. 
Wright,    Asher,    195,    198,   279 

280,  426. 
Wright,  Mrs.  Asher,  h,  200,  208, 

231,   287,  289.  425;    portrait 

facing  352. 

Wyoming,  156,  247,  263  * 
Wyoming  County  Indian  names, 


Yale  University,  303. 

Yates    County    Indian    names, 

Yiskahwana,   51,*  54,   58,   365, 


Young  King,  126,  406. 
Youngstown,  267,*  378. 

Zieber,  William  K.,  n,  214-216, 

220,    221,    223,    225,    304,    311, 

Zeisberger,  David,  380.